T-90s The Bhishma,Main Battle Tank,Combat Indian Army

T-90s The Bhishma,Main Battle Tank,Combat Indian Army 

The T-90 is a Russian third generation main battle tank.It is the latesr development in the T-series of Russian tanks and represents an increase in firepower, mobility and protection. It is manufactured by Uralvagonzavod in Nizhnyi Tagil, Russia. The T-90S entered service with the Russian Army in 1992.

Orginally derived from Russia,Bhishma is a dubbed name just for T-90S.Russian Ministry of Defence found that it could no longer afford to manufacture two war tanks in parallel.The one bein T-80U which was of better quality and other was the chepaer one T-72B.Therfore they started giving small orders along with improvised features for improving exportation to other countries.

In February 2001, the Indian Army signed a contract for 310 T-90S tanks: 124 were completed in Russia and the rest are being delivered in “knocked down” form for final assembly in India.Currently India operates more than 862 T-90S which were produced in three separate orders.

T-90s The Bhishma,Main Battle Tank,Combat Indian Army

Finally India got the licence to manufacture the T-90S. Russia supplied documents for the local manufacture of the tank in India. A T-90S Bhishma tank was thus manufactured by the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi, Tamil Nadu on January 7, 2004. Following which 10 others were manufactured by the end of 2009.Further 1000 tanks were supposed to be produced locally by 2020. The sole purpose of purchasing T-90S was that it had features almost similar to the T-72 which were then used by Indian Army there by simplifying training and maintenance.

T-90S The Bhishma Design

T-90S tank is 9.63m long ,3.73 m wide and 2.22 m high.It weighs around 46 tonnes.The tank is fed by automatic loader which removes the need for a manual loader in the tank and reduces the crew to 3 which includes commander,gunner and driver.

T-90S Bhessma Armaments

The T-90S armament includes one 125mm 2A46M smoothbore gun, stabilised in two axes and fitted with a thermal sleeve. The gun tube can be replaced without dismantling inside the turret. The gun can fire a variety of ammunition including APFSDS (Armour Piercing Fin-Stabilised Discarding Sabot), HEAT (high-explosive anti-tank), HE-FRAG (high-explosive fragmentation) as well as shrapnel projectiles with time fuses.

The T-90S gun can also fire the 9M119 Refleks (NATO designation AT-11 Sniper) anti-tank guided missile system. The range of the missile is 100m to 4,000m and takes 11.7 sec to reach maximum range. The system is intended to engage tanks fitted with ERA (explosive reactive armour) as well as low-flying air targets such as helicopters, at a range of up to 5km. The missile system fires either the 9M119 or 9M119M missiles which have semi-automatic laser beamriding guidance and a hollow charge warhead. Missile weight is 23.4kg. The guns automatic loader will feed both ordnance and missiles.

T-90s The Bhishma,Main Battle Tank,Combat Indian Army

The T-90S armament includes one 125mm 2A46M smoothbore gun, stabilised in two axes and fitted with a thermal sleeve.

Also fitted is a coaxial 7.62mm PKT machine gun that is capable to fire 800 rounds/min to the effective range of 1000m  and a 12.7mm air defence Heavy  machine gun that can fire 750 rounds/min to the effective range of 2000m. A 5.45mm AKS-74 assault rifle is carried on a storage rack.

India Developed T-90M-Improvised version of T-90S. The T-90M Bhisma is a customised,improved version of the T-90S,which India developed with assistance from Russia an France,with both of whom Indian has very close ties.

Check the TOP 5 Improvisation in T-90M,Improved version of t-90S

Self Protection

With the new engine, jamming system, laser warning receivers, These Tanks can be used for more than 3 decades with little or no mid-life improvement. The T-90 tank is protected by both conventional armour-plating and explosive reactive armour.

The T-90 is fitted with the Shtora-1 defensive aids suite which is produced by Electronintorg of Russia. This system includes active infrared jammer,laser warning system with four laser warning receivers, grenade discharging system which produces an aerosol screen and a computerised control system.

It is also fitted with NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) protection equipment,KMT mine sweeps and an automatic fire suppression system.Also T-90s can be equipped with Nakidka signature reduction suite that can reduce the probabilities of an object to be detected by Infrared, Thermal, Radar-Thermal, and Radar bands

T-90s The Bhishma,Main Battle Tank,Combat Indian Army

Fire Control System and Observation

The T-90S has the 1A4GT integrated fire control system (IFCS) which is automatic but with manual override for the commander. The IFCS contains the gunner’s 1A43 day fire control system, gunner’s TO1-KO1 thermal imaging sight which has a target identification range of 1.2km to 1.5km and commander’s PNK-S sight.

The gunner’s 1A43 day FCS comprises: 1G46 day sight / rangefinder with missile guidance channel, 2E42-4 armament stabiliser, 1V528 ballistic computer and DVE-BS wind gauge.The commander’s PNK-4S sight includes a TKN-4S (Agat-S) day / night sight which has identification ranges of 800m (day) and 700m (night).

The driver is equipped with a TVN-5 infrared night viewer.


The T-90s Bhishma is powered by liquid cooled V-84MS 618kW (840hp) four stroke V-12 piston engine. This engine can be fuelled by T-2 or TS-1 kerosene and A-72 benzine, in addition to diesel. The tank can carry up to 1,600 litres of fuel in the main fuel tanks and fuel drums. The fuel tanks are reinforced with armour plating.

The T-90S with uprated 1000hp engine can attain a top speed of 60km/h on the road and 45 km/h on rough terrain.The tank has typical drive-train arrangement with engine rear placed and transmission includes primary reduction gear, two planetary final gearboxes and two planetary final drives. The running gear features torsion bar suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers at one, two and six road wheel stations and tracks with rubber-metallic pin hinges.

The tank is provided with a snorkel for deep fording and can ford 5m of water with equipment which can be deployed in 20 minutes.The tank is also fitted with air conditioning system for work in high temperature zones.

Check out the combat power of T-90s The Bhishma,Main Battle Tank,Combat Indian Army

About the Author

Vivek Bhardwaj
Vivek Bhardwaj
Hi,I am Vivek owner of this website and Mechanical engineering Student.I am here to blog all the stuff related to All Armed Forces.Jobs,DRDO,HAL,News.I am just madly love with blogging and My website.

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