16:28 GMT +322 October 2016
    Т-90А tank during demonstration firing

    Russian-Made T-90 Tank Goes Through Baptism by Fire in Syria

    © Sputnik/ Alexei Malgavko
    Middle East
    Get short URL

    For the first time, the Syrian Army used Russian-made T-90A tanks in combat. Their baptism by fire took place near the city of Aleppo.

    The T-90A, one of Russia’s most advanced weapons, went through its baptism by fire in service with the Syrian armed forces. Earlier, it was reported by Turkish and Iranian media, and then the Russian Defense Minister confirmed the fact.

    The Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak reported, citing a military commander, that over 80 T-72 and T-90 tanks were spotted in combat north of Aleppo. The report also read that Syrian forces backed by Russian jets took control over the towns of Nubul and Zehra, north of Aleppo.

    Meanwhile, Syrian T-90s in action near Aleppo were then reported by Iran’s FARS news agency on February 2. According to the agency, T-90 tanks were deployed near the town of Khan Tuman, south of Aleppo, after the Syrian Army regained control over the town in December.

    Using the advantages of the T-90 tank, the Syrian Army alongside its allies surrounded the strategic towns of Khan Tuman and Al-Karassi, along the Aleppo-Damascus highway, a military source told FARS News.

    However, the first news about delivering T-90 tanks to the mechanized division of the Syrian Army came on November 29, 2015. At the time, Russia neither confirmed nor denied it.

    On February 5, a source in the Russian Defense Ministry told RNS news agency that in late-2015, a number of T-90 machines were delivered to Syria. According to the source, previously the tanks were in service with the Russian military. Syrian troops practiced at training fields in Russia. According to RNS, the tanks were first used in combat by the Syrian Army near Aleppo. They supported a ground assault by Syrian troops.

    The T-90A tank entered service with the Russian Armed Forces in 2004. The T-90A is a modernized version of the T-90 Vladimir tank developed on the basis of the T-72B, in the 1980-1990s. It was named "Vladimir" after its constructor Vladimir Potkin. The T-90A featured a new engine and turret and was equipped with a thermal-vision system. Its engine delivers 1,000 hp at 2,000 rpm. The tanks is equipped with third-generation active armor, capable of withstanding an attack by 120-mm M829A2 and DM43A1 tank rounds, designed for the Abrams M1A1 and Leopard-2 tanks respectively.
    The T-90 protective system is capable of protecting the tank from the newest TOW-2A and HOT-2 anti-tank missiles.

    According to FARS, in four-and-a-half years of the Syrian war various militant groups received over 9,000 US-made TOW anti-tank missile systems and M-79 grenade launchers. They were very successful against the aging T-55 and T-72 tanks of the Syrian Army. Only after the newest T-90 tanks were delivered to Syria the Syrian Army began its advance against militants.

    The T-90 was delivered to Syria because the tank is equipped with the Shtora active armor, military analyst Alexei Ramm told Gazeta.Ru. Unlike, for example the T-72B, the T-90 tanks of the Russian Armed Forces were initially equipped with this type of armor. The need for it was dictated by the fact that many Syrian militants are armed with TOW missiles.

    A T-90A main battle tank
    Host photo agency
    A T-90A main battle tank

    How does the system works? There are several laser radiation receivers, mounted on the tank, as well as two projectors near the gun. These receivers can detect laser radiation when the tank is being targeted and warns the crew of the threat, Ramm explained. In this situation, the crew can evade the attack. The second option is smoke-screening, and the third option is jamming the enemy target-acquiring system with the projectors.

    The T-90A is equipped with a 125-mm smooth-bore gun – the 2A46M-2 – with a barrel length of 51 calibers. Its maximum accuracy range while firing high-explosive anti-tank warheads is 4,000 meters, and while firing fragmentation projectiles – up to 9,600 meters.

    According to the analyst, the Syrian Army would actively engage the Russian T-90 tanks in combat. He explained that ground relief allows for using the T-90 near Aleppo, Idlib, Hama and Homs but currently main combat actions are focused on Aleppo and northern Latakia.

    "The principal task now is to neutralize threats to two western regions – Latakia and Tartus. If Latakia falls it would deal a serious blow to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s position and would complicate the Russian aerial operation," Ramm pointed out.

    What is more, now an offensive is also underway against militants in the enclave of Salma. Tanks are not enough in this mountainous area, where ground forces backed by aviation are needed.

    "If Salma and Aleppo are liberated Turkey will not be able to deliver supplies to terrorists," he said.

    In December, Syria’s news agency SANA published footage from the battlefield where Russian T-90’s were also spotted.

    Syrian Army Takes Control of Osman Village in Country's South
    Syrian Army Takes Key Road in Aleppo Prov. After Rescuing Besieged Cities
    WATCH: Russia’s Daesh-Crushing Su-35 Fighter Jets at Hmeymim Airbase
    Syrian Army Seizes Gateway to Major Terrorist Stronghold in Latakia
    military conflict, T-90A, Syrian Arab Army, Syria, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    All comments

    • cast235
      ABOUT TIME... Also they need transports to move troops quickly and surround the enemy. , with close air support , terrorists need a new home.
      Saudi CANNOT get in Syria and attack Damascus or Syrian army. That particular tanks will pulverize anything the west brings in.
    • cast235
      Forgot. THIS is NOT FIRE BY TRIAL FOR T90...
      In 1999, the T90 S, for export a tank made for India, IF I didn't forgot, saw action in Dagestan. During the FOREIGN invasion of Chechnya and Dagestan. Kadyrov said so. Why doubt the man, that I believe wouldn't lie.
      Well, A T90S or some were diverted to Dagestan.One got 7 hits. A for export, without max defenses, that the real T 90 uses.It kept WORKING!!!

      T90 according to west is a propaganda name. I don't believe so. Yes is an old chassis, modified, true but the turret and many other modifications turns it in a stand alone platform category.
      The ARMATA breaks the set.
    • Jet fuel can't melt steel beams
      Now let's roll! Russia TANK you for that!
    • siberianhusky
      Great to test the T-90A in real battle. This will tell them what might need attention in their new T-14 Armata before they go in full bore production. Unlike the defective F-35 which they keep in producing in ever larger number and will need large sums of money to be rectified, if that can be done on the older made ones.
    • Wisdom Faith
      Every t-90 you see on field got a main gun blocked soo they aint used.
    • sepheronx
      SAA already took Salma sometime ago. So whomever wrote that part is quite behind on events in Syria.
    • FlorianGeyerin reply toWisdom Faith(Show commentHide comment)
      Wisdom Faith,
    • Jet fuel can't melt steel beamsin reply toFlorianGeyer(Show commentHide comment)
      FlorianGeyer, Don't mind him that guy is a troll.. he's alone and likes being bashed :/
    • vendorin reply tosepheronx(Show commentHide comment)
      sepheronx, I was about to type the same! Either they are behind or we would like to know more about Salma!
    • megargy
      Why is nobody asking how & why ISIS got all those TOW weapons & who taught them to use modern American anti-tank guided missiles?
    • Blackie
      We know there are maybe a million still in Syria, yet often we hear spin even from Putin, and it goes like this "dozens kiled today after air strikes, we are closing in". Only dozens killed?,
      with all that fire power?, probably in any EU country there are more killed on the road.
      What is fact!, is Russia and the Satanic coalition are herding and delivering these bandits Al-Queda to the EU! .
    • Randall Lee Hilburnin reply toBlackie(Show commentHide comment)
      Blackie, Al-Queda, or whatever it is currently called, as an organization is an illusion used to conceal what is really going on. It is an operation run by the CIA/MOSSAD and not in reality an organization at all. That is why it can seemingly pop up unexpectedly anywhere in the world. It isn't necessarily the same people involved, but often different people recruited and/or hired under the auspices of the same operation. That is why that no matter how many are killed or whatever there always seem to be just as many.

      The conflict in Syria is a war against irregulars. They will break contact and scatter when an action stars going against them and then try to reform later somewhere else. This makes progress very slow and actions very fluid.
      It also can result in insane amounts of firepower being used which usually produce not very many casualties. In some sense it is not unlike the Americans and their allies experience with the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. The Russians, Syrians and their allies have the added problem that the enemy they are trying to defeat is constantly being regenerated by the CIA/MOSSAD. They are winning to the extent that the situation isn't totally out of control like it was before but the war is very far from being over as long as the CIA/MOSSAD can continue the operation.
    • earlw35
      Hope the T90 prevails, they should send those Mi-28 havoc helicopters that would really 1 up the Syrian Army.
    Show new comments (0)
    Top stories