Why is russia Using Its T-90S Tanks in the "Indian" Export Configuration in Ukraine?

russian T-90S / Video Screenshot
russian T-90S / Video Screenshot

The decision to repurpose the export-oriented T-90S tanks underscores russia's urgent need to strengthen its armored capabilities amid the ongoing war

The russian Ministry of Defense showcased rare footage on the Donetsk front featuring T-90S tanks. These tanks were originally intended for export to countries such as India, Algeria, and Vietnam but were redirected for domestic use due to critical shortages of combat vehicles in frontline units.

The video reveals that all inscriptions on the tank control panel are in English.

Read more: Ukraine's National Guard Destroys 112 russian Tanks, Including 10 T-90 Proryv, in January
russian T-90S, Defense Express
russian T-90S / Video Screenshot

A reminder, the T-90S is an export version of the russian T-90A. In comparison to the original, it lacks the Shtora-1 active protection system but features an additional ERA module, a 902 Tucha smoke screen launcher, and air conditioning.

The T-90S is an advanced version of the T-series of russian tanks, offering increased firepower, mobility and protection, and it is designed for the export market.

Defense Express previously reported on how russia employs its "export" T-90S tanks in Ukraine.

russian T-90S, Defense Express
Two previously destroyed russian T-90S, both photos dated January 2023 / Photo credits: Ukraine Weapons Tracker, Oryx

The first and second T-90S tanks were destroyed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine: one had its gun torn apart, and the other had its turret blown up. The third one was taken as a trophy.

According to Ukraine's army General Staff, the invaders have already lost 6,406 tanks of all types since February 2022.

Read more: ​russia Got belarusian Furnaces to Produce Engines for T-72B3 and T-90M Tanks