Russian experts are worried that its most advanced tank, the T-90M Proryv, could end in the United States if its captured by Ukraine. Recently, the Ukrainian military has captured a fully functioning T-90M Proryv during the battle of Kharkiv.
The T-90M Proryv is indeed a real find for the United States since Russia has deployed large amounts of this tank along the Ukrainian border. With heightened fears of a possible escalation with NATO, Moscow may decide to station fewer units of the tank in Ukraine and instead keep them on standby.
Incidentally, UralVagonZavod continues to produce the T-90M Proryv and send them to the Western Military District of the Russian Federation.
Currently, the T-90M Proryv is Russia’s best tank. Ukraine’s Western allies can now study the new Kalina fire control system, along with the Afghanit active protection system and the Relikt reactive armor system.
Russia believes the T-90M Proryv is technologically very close to the T-14 Armata, which is considered to be the best tank in the world, according to Russian experts. The T-14 Armata is however facing mass production issues.
Since the T-90M has the same communications and control package as the T-14, it would be of immense interest to Ukraine’s Western allies.
Initially, Russia had placed an order of around 500 T-90M Proryv tanks. The tank is armed with a 2A46M-5 125mm smoothbore gun with 43 rounds. The T-90M Proryv became operational in April 2020. It is at least a decade ahead of its peers such as the T-80, T-72 or T-64.
The armor of the T-90M Proryv is likely to result in fewer explosions. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine there has been only one documented case of a destroyed T-90M Proryv tank. Its design and appearance are also very different from traditional Russian tank designs.
Therefore the examination of the captured T-90M Proryv will shed more light on its effective combat capability as well as its drawbacks. NATO and the United States can also learn about the T.14 Armata from the T-90M Proryv given their similarities.