Crew: 3.

Combat Weight: 46,500 kg.

Ground Pressure: 0.87 kg/cm2.

Engine: Powered by a 1,000 hp V-92S2 four-stroke V-12 diesel engine with a power-to-weight ratio of 21.5 hp/ton.

Fuel Capacity: 1600 litres.

Maximum Speed: On Road; 65 km/h.
.......................Cross-Country; 45 km/h

Maximum Range: On Road; 650 km.
.......................Cross-Country; 500 km.

Vertical Obstacle: 0.85 metres.

Fording Depth: 1.2 metres on the move
.....................5 metres with OPVT (snorkel)

Trench Crossing: 2.8 metres wide.

Armament: 1 x 125mm 2A46M smoothbore gun with 43 rounds.
...............1 x 12.7mm NSVT anti-aircraft gun with 300 rounds. [1]
...............1 x 7.62mm PKT co-axial machine gun with 2000 rounds.
...............1 x 5.45mm AKS-74 rifle, carried on storage rack, with 300 rounds. [2]

[1] The 12.7mm NSVT, mounted on the commander's contra-rotating copula which can be aimed and fired under complete armour protection, uses the PZU-7 machine gun sight and the 1ETs29 (with vertical stabilisation) machine gun FCS (Fire Control System).

[2] The locally-produced 5.56mm INSAS Assault Rifle will likely be used instead.

Smoke Grenade Launchers: Mounted either side of the turret is a bank of six electrically operated 81mm smoke grenade launchers which are in a new low-angle configuration compared to those fitted to earlier Russian MBTs. The quick forming aerosol screening system comprises the four laser radiation sensors (two coarse and two fine receiving heads), the Type 902A Aerosol Forming Grenade Launch System dispensing 81mm 3D17 aerosol grenades and associated controls. The aerosol screening system detects laser illumination, determines its direction and type (laser range-finder or designator), generates warning signals, both audio and visual, and lays in automatic or semi-automatic modes, quick forming aerosol screens within three seconds at a distance of 50 to 80 metres from the tank. In addition, the tank can also lay its own smoke screen by injecting diesel fuel into the exhaust outlet located on the left side of the hull.

Comments: In view of Pakistan's acquisition of the T-80UD from Ukraine, the Indian Army had decided to acquire 310 T-90S MBTs from Russia. After numerous hiccups and delays, an inter-governmental agreement was signed in October 2000 and a formal agreement on 15 February 2001. The deal was estimated to be at US $650 - US $750 million for the 310 tanks, which includes complete technology transfer and weapon systems. 18 Indian Army personnel, including engineers, underwent training in Russia on the operation and maintenance of this tank. The T-90S [Improved] is the export version of the T-90M and features a welded turret, the V-92S2 engine and an ESSA thermal viewer. The tank is not to be confused with the simplified T-90S export version which features a cast turret, a R-173 radio, a 1V528 ballistic computer and the V-84MS 618 kW (840 hp) four-stroke V-12 piston engine.

A first batch of 10 tanks - referred to as Bishma in the Indian Army - were delivered in the first week of January 2002. As per the February 2005 issue of Jane's Foreign Report, 186 T-90 tanks were delivered by the end of 2002. As per the agreement, 120 tanks were delivered in a ready-for-use configuration, 90 in semi-knocked down (SKD) kits and the final 100 in completely-knocked down (CKD) kits. The SKD and CKD kits were assembled at the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi, Tamil Nadu and the first tank was delivered to the Indian Army on 07 January 2004. The then incumbent-Chief of Army Staff, General Nirmal Chander Vij, stated that local production of the tank would begin in 2006-07, after the assembly of the CKD kits. He also stated that the T-90S MBT would constitute 30% of the Indian Army's combat tank force.

In July 2006, Defence News reported that the Ordnance Factory Board was awarded a US $2.5 billion deal to produce 1000 T-90S tanks for the Indian Army. The order is being carried out in phases, with the production of the first 300 examples having already begun in June 2006. The Army is expected to order the remaining 700 tanks, after the first batch is completed, by 2010. Manufacturing is being undertaken at two ordnance factory locations - Medak in Andhra Pradesh and the Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi, Tamil Nadu. Indigenous components are expected to be high, with 70% of the parts being produced in India initially and would eventually rise to 95% by 2010. The technical issues encountered with some of the SKD/CKD kits at Avadi, are expected to be resolved during licensed production. One of the methods involve importing improved sub-systems from foreign markets. The Hindustan Times reported on 27 October 2006, that the Indian Army signed yet another deal - worth US $800 million - for 330 T-90S MBTs.


The 2A46M smoothbore gun is stabilised (Zhasmin 2E42-4 system) in two axes and is fitted with a thermal sleeve. The gun tube can be replaced without a need for dismantling inside the turret. The gun can fire various ammunition including APFSDS-T (Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot - Tracer), HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank), HE-FRAG (High Explosive Fragmentation) as well as shrapnel projectiles with time fuzes. In addition it can also fire a special HE-FRAG projectile that can be detonated over the target using the tank's fire-control system. Maximum rate of fire is at 7 rounds per minute. The gun can also fire the 9M119 Refleks-M (NATO: AT-11 Sniper-B) anti-tank guided missile system. The range of the missile is 75 to 5000 metres and takes 14.2 seconds to reach maximum range. The system is intended to engage tanks fitted with ERA (Explosive Reactive Armour) as well as low-flying air targets such as helicopters, at a range of up to 5 km. Hit probability is over 80%. The missile system fires either the 9M119 (3UBK14 weapon system) or the 9M119M (3UBK20 weapon system) missiles which have semi-automatic laser beam riding guidance and a hollow charge warhead. Missile weight is 23.4 kg. The gun's automatic loader will feed both ordnance and missiles.


The hull and turret are protected by both conventional armour-plating and the latest generation Kontakt-5 ERA which provides protection against APFSDS (Armour Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot) and HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) type projectiles. In addition to being fitted to the hull and turret, ERA panels are also fitted either side of the hull front to provide lateral protection to each side of the driver's compartment. The tank also has NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) protection equipment. The TShU1-7 Shtora-1 countermeasures system is not fitted.

Fire Control & Observation

The T-90S has the 1A45T IFCS (Integrated Fire Control System) which is automatic, but has a manual override for the commander. The IFCS comprises the gunner's day/night fire-control system, gunner's IR sight or thermal imaging sight, and commander's day/night sight-observation system. The fire control system comprises day sight-rangefinder with missile guidance channel, armament stabilizer and ballistic computer. The system is used by the commander for gun and machine gun fire control.


The T-90S will be powered by a 1,000 hp V-92S2 four-stroke V-12 diesel engine. This new engine, fitted with a turbo-supercharger, offers impressive specific power and specific fuel consumption characteristics. The tank can carry up to 1600 litres of fuel in the main, armour plated fuel tanks and fuel drums. The tank is provided with a snorkel for deep fording (up to 5 metres of water) with equipment which can be deployed in 20 minutes. The mechanical transmission includes primary reduction gear, two planetary final gearboxes and two planetary final drives. The running gear features torsion bar suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers at 1, 2 and 6 road wheel stations and tracks with rubber-metallic pin hinges.

Miscellaneous Information

A new track has been developed and tested for the T-90S that not only has a longer life but also has replaceable rubber pads that can be quickly removed. Standard equipment includes NBC protection, fire detection & suppression system, nose-mounted dozer blade and a deep fording kit. The tank is fitted with an air conditioning system for operations in high ambient temperatures.