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One Captured T-90 Led to Billions of Dollars Lost for russia

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T-90M Proryv main battle tank / Open source illustrative photo
T-90M Proryv main battle tank / Open source illustrative photo

The consequence of capturing a T-90 tank became big nail to the coffin of russian weapon export

For russia, the export of arms is an important part of its revenue, in addition to, of course, being crucial for defense industry development and international influence. Among armored vehicles, the T-90 main battle tank was a celebrity.

They managed to sell this modern tank to Azerbaijan, Algeria, Syria, India, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Vietnam, and almost made contracts on supplies to Egypt and Kuwait. One contract for already made T-90 to India coming with the license for local manufacturing brought USD 4.5 billion to the russian treasury. The Algerian three-stage contract for 600 vehicles added another $3 billion (estimated value) to the russian wealth.

Read more: Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense Analyzed the Components of the T-90M Proryv: From Rusty Microcircuits to the Questionable Ammunition Storage Solution

Even the sanctions imposed on the Kremlin after the annexation of Ukrainian Crimea did not turn Vietnam off the deal on 64 units of T-90 in 2016. The contract, signed in secrecy, was disclosed only a year after it had been sealed. How much money did Hanoi offer russia, it is still unknown.

Surely, since russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, more powerful sanctions were imposed which could affect the buyers of russian weapons, too. And hundreds of russian tanks destroyed in Ukraine, including the T-90, have wavered the russian myths about its armored equipment.

T-90 destroyed in Ukraine
T-90 destroyed in Ukraine / Open source photo

But the most painful blow was made by the Center for Research of Trophies and Prospective Weapons and Military Equipment at Ukraine's General Staff after its specialists made a thorough study of the components of a T-90 tank captured by the Ukrainian soldiers in battle.

Some results were announced during a dedicated press conference, while additional details were revealed by the head of the facility Serhii Bachurin in an interview to ArmyInform. In particular, he pointed out critical problems with the tank's V-92S2F engine which simply doesn't have enough power to propel the 46-ton vehicle. The over-advertised Kalina fire control system has Western components for civilian use in it, moreover, its electronics are assembled without complying with the requirements for humidity, so the electrical contacts start to oxidize and eventually fail.

The hyped new automatic reloading system turned out to be another myth because in order to supply ammunition from the stock located in the back of the turret, one has to leave the tank and carry the rounds with his own hands.

Ammunition stowage in the rear part of a T-90MS
Ammunition stowage in the rear part of a T-90MS / Image credits: Thai Military and Asian Region

Serhii Bachurin said, after the results of the study were revealed to the public, "the information received broad resonance far beyond Ukraine, many international companies that contracted russia on T-90 supplies have rapidly canceled the agreements."

"The nullification of contracts means billions of dollars in losses for the russian federation. This money won't be spent on more weapons for the russian army, therefore they won't be killing our warriors on the battlefield, our citizens, won't ruin our country," head of the research center noted.

Altogether it means only one thing. Thanks to the armed forces of Ukraine and the public analysis of the key export product of russian military equipment, Ukraine may have crushed russian hopes to sell anything for dozens of years to come. It he is especially evident in the light of the problems russia has selling weapons even to the closest partners.

Read more: ​Spectacular Destruction of russian T-90M: Disabled With ATGM, the Tank Was Finished Off With Molotov Cocktails