The T-90A is currently the most modern MBT in service with the Russian military. The tank is essentially an upgraded T-72, but almost every part of it has been heavily modified, including the main gun (125 mm 2A46M-1 from the T-80U), new gunner sights, new thermal sights, a new engine, chassis and turret made of a mix of steel and composite armor, enhanced protection with the aid of K-5 reactive armor (also first used on the T-80U), the Shtora countermeasures suite, and the ability to use the Arena countermeasures suite. Capability-wise, the T-90 was essentially a new tank, though the main reason it was given the name T-90 rather than T-72BU was because of the T-72’s poor reputation during the Gulf War. There are three versions of the T-90: the original T-90, the T-90A, which has a new turret, and the T-90S, which is for export. Russia currently operates over 700 T-90 tanks of various modifications, while India currently has 620. Algeria, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan have also purchased T-90 tanks.
Besides the 125 mm main gun, the T-90 is also armed with a coaxial PKT machine gun and an NSVT machine gun. The T-90 runs on the V-96 12 cylinder diesel engine, which is rated at 1,250 hp. The tank has a weight of 47.5 tons, a length of 9.63 meters, a width of 3.78 meters, and a height of 2.22 meters. The T-90 has a crew of 3 and can move at speeds exceeding 65 km/hr. The T-90 has full NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) protection, and an air conditioner for operation in tropical temperatures. The T-90’s front armor was tested against the latest Russian rocket propelled grenade launchers and missile launchers in 1999. None of the weapons penetrated. The T-90 saw action in Dagestan, where witnesses reported that the tank was hit seven times by RPG’s and remained in action. The T-90A was used as the basis for the new T-90MS MBT, which was developed for export. Production of domestic T-90 tanks has ceased, as focus has been shifted to the modernization of T-72 tanks and the new Armata next generation MBT.