The T-90 is a Russian main battle tank. It is the first post-Soviet tank designed and produced in Russia and was first projected to replace the numerous Soviet-era T-72 and T-80 tanks already in service. Other than the Russian Armed Forces, it equips the armies of several Russia-friendly countries across the world.
The collapse of the Soviet Union brought terrible hardships to the Russian economy. It did not take long before the Russian Ministry of Defense realized that it is too costly to maintain two main battle tanks, the sophisticated T-80 and the cheaper T-72, in production. A new tank that combine a version of the T-72 with the more sophisticated systems of the T-80 was then designed, which resulted in the T-90.
Trials proved that the T-90 is superior to the T-80, especially with the addition of external Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) blocks. The tank was first used in combat in 1999 following a Chechen militia's invasion of the Russian republic of Dagestan, performing to expectations.
The tank is fitted with numerous advanced counter-measures in addition to the ERA blocks mentioned. It has Nakidka anti-thermal imaging camouflage, Shtora anti-missile defenses and even an experimental anti-mine device. It also uses modern composite armor found in Western tanks such as the Challenger 2, Leopard 2 and M1 Abrams.
Never produced in large numbers, the T-90 did not replace the T-80 in Russian service. In fact, the Russian Armed Forces has stopped new orders for the T-90 since 2011. However, there are still numerous export orders that can maintain the production line.
By 2020, Russia hopes to deploy T-90's successor, the T-14 Universal Combat Platform, interestingly named Armata (plural for the Greek word Arma).
ArmA 2 Edit
The T-90 is solely used by the Russian Armed Forces in ArmA 2. It is one of the most powerful ground vehicle in-game and unique among tanks for its ability to fire anti-tank missiles from its main cannon.
Its sole direct competitor is the American M1 Abrams. While not as well-armored as the Abrams, the T-90's missile gave it superior range and ability to fire two shots rapidly (one missile and one cannon round) to its American counterpart.