UVZ sent one trainload of T-90M Proryv tanks to the Russian Army

On May 6, a train laden with T-90M Proryv tanks left the premises of the Nizhny Tagil Tank Plant, heading for the Russian military, as confirmed by the plant’s media representatives. Although the exact number of tanks is unreported, this shipment follows closely behind a new batch of T-72B3M tanks sent just one week earlier.  

UVZ sent one trainload of T-90M Proryv tanks to the Russian Army
Video screenshot

“The unrelenting work of the dedicated team at Nizhny Tagil plant ensures a steady supply of advanced military tech to our forces, adeptly meeting deadlines and maintaining high-quality production for state defense orders. Efficiency and speed are the backbone of our operation, leading to a steadily increasing monthly production of armored vehicles. Furthermore, we are consistently motivated to improve the tactical-technical features of these machines. Currently, the spotlight is on our team at Uralvagonzavod as they take on the exciting challenge of incorporating technological innovations into our combat vehicles,” stated the dedicated staff at Nizhny Tagil. 

In a recent post on the Russian social network, VKontakte, Uralvagonzavod revealed a brief but informative video showcasing the meticulous testing and production processes of the T-90M Proryv. The footage concludes with a panoramic view of the tanks, proudly stationed on the train, ready for departure. The video suggests an estimate of 10-11 T-90M tanks aboard the train, through careful observation.

UVZ sent one trainload of T-90M Proryv tanks to the Russian Army
Video screenshot

The last T-90M batch was in March

It’s worth noting that just six weeks ago [on March 12], the Russian army received its most recent delivery of T-90M Proryv tanks. A train filled with these formidable machines departed from the Uralvagonzavod railway depot. The occasion was marked with fanfare, including a grand musical performance at the plant yard, Uralvagonzavod management’s way of showing appreciation for its team. 

Providing some context to this latest delivery, Uralvagonzavod shares a fascinating note: “It’s incredibly symbolic that our most recent delivery of the globally acclaimed T-90M Proryv tanks to the Russian army occurred on the eve of the prestigious Victory Day. May 9 holds a special place in the hearts of everyone at the Uralvagonzavod enterprises. Our facilities, which became tank-manufacturing hubs following the extensive evacuation of defense plants from the west to the east of the Soviet Union during the onset of the war, made an invaluable contribution to the war effort.” 

UVZ sent one trainload of T-90M Proryv tanks to the Russian Army
Video screenshot

“In today’s world, our beloved Motherland faces numerous external threats. We steadfastly defend Russia’s sovereignty and strongly oppose neo-Nazi ideologies. Today, like their predecessors 80 years ago, Uralvagonzavod’s employees are producing the finest military equipment of our time. They have proven their worth again and again, demonstrating that they are indeed worthy successors to our generation of victors,” shares Alexander Potapov, the Chief Executive Officer of Uralvagonzavod.

High rate of tank production

In the early stages of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, T-90M tanks were a rare sight at the frontline. However, with time, Moscow ramped up production for these formidable war machines. Nowadays, the exclusive production of these tanks has been relegated to Uralvagonzavod, while other tank-making enterprises, such as the Omsk Machine-Building Plant, have taken up the task of refurbishing tanks returned from battle.  

Putin tours Uralvagonzavod, dispatches T-90M tanks to the Army
Photo by Samil Ritdikov

As sources, including the British MoD intelligence, repeatedly highlight Russia’s impressive tank production and repair capabilities, it’s clear that the country maintains a formidable pace. These reports suggest that Russia’s military losses can be easily offset by robust domestic production. The real question that emerges is whether Russia’s monthly supply consists of brand new tanks, or if it’s merely a rotation of refurbished machines from reserves.

Discrepancy in data

Reports suggesting that Russia produces 100 tanks per month have been challenged by Ukrainian sources. These sources propose that there might be confusion between the terms “production” and “renovation of preserved tanks.” In support of their argument, they refer to satellite imagery showing nearly 400 tanks disappearing from Russia’s primary tank reserves over 5-7 months. Experts from Resurgam, Military Seer, and Mortis Aeterna have observed a monthly reduction of 44-75 units in these reserves. 

Near St. Petersburg, hundreds of T-80 tanks await modernization
Photo credit: Reddit

Experts raise questions regarding the sustainability of this utilization rate in compensating for current losses and ponder if it can continue through 2023 and early 2024. They speculate that this trend might indicate a peak in reservoir renovation and replenishment efforts. To stress their point, they note that the rate of this so-called deconservation process has slowed compared to earlier years. This slowing pace, they believe, is primarily due to the declining quality of the equipment being worked on. 

Evidence of a bottleneck at major armor production facilities is being noted by analysts. They see this as a sign of the immense pressure these facilities are under. It’s quite worrisome that nearly 95% of the primary reserve sites are filled to their maximum capacity, as indicated by expert analysis. This implies that approximately 3,150 tanks at the central bases of the reserves, along with roughly 1,300-1,500 tanks in peripheral reserves and near the main tank remodeling workshops, could be suitable for deconservation and refurbishment. 

However, amidst these computations, experts acknowledge the inconsistent and often questionable technical condition of the 3,150 tanks stationed at these bases. They underscore the omission of tanks with missing turrets or those discarded in areas where they have largely been dismantled for spare parts, rendering them of little value, even as a source of replacement parts. Of all these forsaken tanks, those from the 1311th base seem to have the highest potential for recovery.

4,550 Russian tanks await upgrade by 2026 - Ukrainian analysts
Photo credit: Drukaria

The Breakthrough

The T-90M Proryv, also known as ‘Breakthrough,’ is a modernized version of the T-90 main battle tank developed by Russia. This formidable piece of military technology is designed for all-weather, day-night combat operations, featuring enhanced firepower, mobility, and protection. 

With dimensions of approximately measuring 9.53 meters in length, 3.78 meters in width, and 2.22 meters in height, the T-90M Proryv boasts a combat weight of about 48 tons. The tank is structured to accommodate a crew of three: a commander, a gunner, and a driver. 

T-90M tank production takes lead over T-72B3 overhauls in Russia
Video screenshot

Under the hood, the tank is powered by a V-92S2F engine that provides 1130 horsepower, enabling the T-90M to reach a top speed of 60 km/h on the road and 45 km/h off-road. Not to mention, the tank also features a torsion bar suspension system, ensuring a smooth ride across rough terrain.

125mm smoothbore gun

The T-90M’s main gun is a 125mm 2A46M-5 smoothbore gun, capable of firing a variety of ammunition types, including APFSDS, HEAT, and HE-FRAG. It also can launch 9M119M Refleks [AT-11 Sniper] anti-tank guided missiles. The secondary armament of the T-90M includes a 7.62mm PKTM machine gun and a 12.7mm Kord heavy machine gun. The tank is also equipped with an automatic grenade launcher. 

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

The fire control system of the T-90M is highly advanced, featuring a 1A45T Irtysh ballistic computer, a gunner’s sight with thermal imaging, and a commander’s panoramic sight with thermal imaging. This allows for accurate target acquisition and engagement in all weather conditions, day or night. 

The operational range of the projectiles used by the T-90M varies depending on the type of ammunition. The APFSDS rounds can reach up to 4,000 meters, the HEAT rounds up to 5,000 meters, and the HE-FRAG rounds up to 4,000 meters. The 9M119M Refleks anti-tank guided missiles have a maximum range of 5,000 meters.

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