Russian T-90M’s Invar-M missile ‘destroys’ Bradley IFV at 4815m

A video circulating on social media suggests that a Russian tank T-90M successfully targets an American-supplied Bradley IFV from a distance of 4,815 meters. The incident reportedly occurred in Ukraine, but note that the video doesn’t establish the authenticity of the claim made by the Twitter account that first posted it.  

The information points to the Russian tank firing a 9M119M1 Invar-M missile, a variant consistent with the Soviet 9M119 Svir and 9M119M Refleks. We will delve into the details about these missiles later in the text. It’s intriguing that, according to the technical specifications of the Invar-M missile shared by Russian sources, the claimed distance as alleged by the Twitter user is technically feasible.  

Interestingly, the fire control system does indicate a distance of 4,815 meters. Plus, there’s noticeable footage of the projectile detonating at that distance, resulting in a visible explosion or destruction of some kind. Confirming the exact type of combat vehicle, such as a Bradley IFV, is not possible in this case. Remember, the video quality isn’t the best and doesn’t allow for clear identification, so we cannot completely dismiss the claims made by the Twitter user.

Moscow: T-90M tanks fire cutting-edge shrapnel-exploding shells
Photo by Maksim Blinov / Sputnik

What do we know about 9M119M?

Originating from the former Soviet Union, the 9M119 Svir and 9M119M Refleks are anti-tank missiles that utilize laser beam-riding guidance. Although they share similarities in their design and purpose, their ranges and respective launching platforms differ. Created for 125mm smooth-bore tank and anti-tank armaments [2A45, 2A46, and 2A46M], these missiles are also referred to as AT-11 Sniper in NATO parlance. The names “Svir” and “Refleks” were inspired by the River Svir and the term “reflex,” respectively. These missiles have taken over or have been incorporated with the 9K112 Kobra system in several regions. 

The Refleks missile is employed in tanks such as the T-90, Serbian M-84AS, and particular models of the T-80 and T-84. Notably, the People’s Republic of China has set up its own production line for this missile, associating it with its Type 98 tank. 

Russian T-90M's Invar-M missile 'destroys' Bradley IFV at 4815m
Photo by Vitaly Kuzmin

The Indian Defense Ministry recently formulated an agreement with Bharat Dynamics Limited [BDL], a public sector entity under the Department of Defense Production. This contract validates the procurement of Invar Anti-Tank Guided Missiles for the Indian Army. BDL generates these missiles as part of a technical collaboration with Rosoboronexport, and they can also be launched from the 2A45 Sprut-B anti-tank gun.

What do we know about Invar-M?

The Invar 9M119M and Invar 9M119M1 [Invar-M] are unique in their functionality. Launched like a regular shell from a 125 mm gun, they function much like a guided missile. These compact missiles measure 690 mm [27.1 inches] in length and weigh just 17.2 kg [37.8 pounds]. They are equipped with pop-out fins, boasting a girth span of 250 mm, which helps guide them to their targets. Guidance is controlled by the tank gunner, using a laser beam-riding mechanism. 

The Invar missiles are potent at long range. Traveling at a speed of 350 meters per second, they can cover a maximum distance of 5,000 meters [that’s a maximum flight time of 17.69 seconds]. This expansive range allows the tank to effectively engage targets that are twice as distant as those attainable with traditional 125 mm shells. 

Enhancing their efficacy, the Invar missiles feature a tandem warhead, capable of piercing up to 900 mm [35.4 inches] of armor. The missile 9M119M “Invar” was introduced in 1992, and its counterpart, the 9M119M1 “Invar-M”, was launched in the latter half of the 1990s. The 9M119F and 9M119F1 variants are guided high-explosive missiles, designed specifically to target enemy personnel.

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russian T-90M tanks crews train to destroy NATO tanks in Ukraine
Photo by Stanislav Krasilnikov

On February 21, 2022, Russia stated that its border facility was attacked by Ukrainian forces, resulting in the deaths of five Ukrainian fighters. However, Ukraine quickly dismissed these allegations, labeling them as ‘false flags’.

In a notable move on the same day, Russia announced it officially recognized the self-proclaimed areas of DPR and LPR. Interestingly, according to Russian President Putin, this recognition covered all the Ukrainian regions. Following this declaration, Putin sent a battalion of Russia’s military forces, tanks included, into these areas.

Fast forward to February 24, 2022, global headlines were dominated by a significant incident. Putin commanded a forceful military assault on Ukraine. Led by Russia’s impressive Armed Forces positioned at the Ukrainian border, this assault wasn’t spontaneous but a premeditated action. Despite the circumstances resembling a war, the Russian government refrains from using this term. They’d rather refer to it as a “special military operation”.

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