Type 90 Main Battle Tank

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TETRU Type 90
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Type 90C
Type Main battle tank
Place of origin
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Rodarion
Service history
In service 1979-present
Used by
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Papal Army
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Tarsas
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Ankaran National Army
Production history
Manufacturer TETRU Defence
Number built ~16,000
Variants Type 90A, 90B, 90C
Specifications
Weight 49 tons
Length 9.5 meters
Width 3.78 meters
Height 2.25 meters
Crew 3

Main
armament
125mm BNA smoothbore gun (60 rnds)
130mm T-445 smoothbore gun (Type 90C)
Secondary
armament
7.8x50mm coaxial machinegun BNA Type 3
12.7×108mm BNA heavy machine gun
Engine TAN S92 Diesel engine
1,200 horsepower
Suspension torsion bar
Operational
range
480km
Speed 65km/ph

The Type 90A is a main battle tank developed and manufactured by Rodarion. It is currently the most widely fielded tank in the Rodarian Papal Army. It was designed to replace the Type 82 main battle tank as the primary tank of the Papal Army.. In 1988 the Type 90 took position over other designs and began to be mass produced. In 1989 the Papal military began mass production of the Type-90A which has improved optics and has explosive reactive armour, it replaced all older models in 1995.


Development

Designs for replacement for the Type 82 tank began in the late 80s. In 1986 the plans by TETRU were accepted by the Papal Design Department and mass production was contracted to the Rodarion State South Defence Corporation. By 1988 mass production began, the tank was given a 125mm rifled gun for improved accuracy and was upgraded with more modern optics, targeting and an autoloader. The TAN S92 Diesel engine was added which was a vast improvement from the TAN S90 Diesel engine that was installed on Type 82 tanks. The Type 90's turret however was a new design, with slanted sides rather than a dome, it was hoped that improved armour and the slanted sides would end the dependence on ERA blocks. And in 1988-89 the Type 90 was completed and mass produced.

Design

Gun

The Type 90A and 90B both utilised the 125 mm (4.9 in) smoothbore T33A series main gun, a significantly larger calibre than the standard 105 mm (4.1 in) gun found in contemporary foreign MBTs, and still slightly larger than the 120 mm/L44 found in many other modern MBTs. As is typical of Soviet tanks, the gun is capable of firing anti-tank guided missiles, as well as standard main gun ammunition, including HEAT and APFSDS rounds. The Type 90C however operates the 130mm T-445 smoothbore gun, marking the final transition from rifled to smoothbore guns across the Papal Army, it received an improved autoloader to allow it use HEAT, APFSDS, HESH rounds as well as tank launched ATGMs.

The gun differed from most contemporary main tank armament as it used projectiles and charges which were loaded separately, as opposed to a single fixed round. The charges were encased in combustible bags. Other tank guns, needed to store the spent shell cartridges or eject them outside. The combustible charges were stored in 36 recesses surrounded by a pressurized water/glycol mixture - so-called "wet-stowage". In the event of a hit which penetrated the fighting compartment, the jacket would rupture, soaking the charges and preventing a catastrophic propellant explosion. As there was no shell case, the firing of the charge was by vent tubes automatically loaded from a magazine on the breech. Due to the length of the gun which required balancing and the need for storage space, the turret has a large overhang to the rear. This contains radios, ammunition, fire control equipment and has further stowage externally.

The gun could fire a wide range of ammunition, but the most commonly loaded types were high explosive squash head (HESH), armour-piercing discarding sabot (APDS), or practice round equivalents for both types. Type 90A and 90Bs could store up to 64 projectiles (though a maximum of 36 APDS, limited by the propellant stowage), the Type 90Cs can store up to 84 projectiles in the bussel. The gun was fully stabilised with a fully computerized integrated control system. The secondary armament consisted of a coaxial BNA Type 3 7.8x50mm machine gun, and a 12.7×108mm BNA heavy machine gun mounted on the commander's cupola.

The main gun of the Type 90C has a mean error of 1 m (39.4 in) at a range of 1,900 m (2,077.8 yd). Its maximum firing distance is 9,950 m (10,881.4 yd), due to limited positive elevation. The limit of aimed fire is 4,000 m (4,374.5 yd) (with the gun-launched anti-tank guided missile). The Type 90C's main gun is fitted with an integral pressure reserve drum, which assists in rapid smoke evacuation from the bore after firing. The 130 millimeter gun barrel is certified strong enough to ram the tank through eighty centimeters of iron-reinforced brick wall, though doing so will negatively affect the gun's accuracy when subsequently fired. The Type 90C has improved stabilisers which allows it to fire on the move, including aimed shot, unlike the previous two models which had to stop in order to fire an aimed shot.

The initial Fire-control system (FCS) was the TETRU KAN34. A .50-inch (12.7 mm) ranging gun was mounted above the main gun (with 300 rounds available). This fired ranging shots out to a maximum of 3,200m (3 499.5 yd), at which point the tracer in the ranging rounds burned out. The tank commander had a rotating cupola with nine vision blocks -giving all round view - and a periscope, plus the 12.7×108 mm machine-gun and an infrared (IR) projector coaxial with the weapon. The aiming systems were provided for both gunner and tank commander; they had 1x or 8x selectable magnification power, and they were replaceable with IR vision systems for the night operations (3x magnification power). The commander could rotate his cuplola to bring his sight onto a target and then engage the mechanism that brought the turret round on to the correct bearing so that the gunner could complete the aiming. The Type 90C operates the TETRU KAN45 fire-control system which incorporates thermal imagery and enhanced range finders and an all-weather optic system for the commander.


Production

The first model of the Type 90 was mass produced until 1992 when the Type 90B was released. The T-90B met the original requirements of the Type 90 program but was improved with improved underbelly armour to counter mines and IEDs, a laser range finder was added and an improved autoloader. It also added received an improved engine and reinforced gear system, the laser range finder was also upgraded and ammunition storage was moved from the hull to the bustle. The M33 Autoloader was also added, increasing its firing rate.

In 1996 the Type 90C was released to service, improvements were made to the turret and top armour and was intended to be an urban fighting tank but training with the vehicle put doubts into its success, it was further improved with the addition of new autoloader allowing for the use of ATGMs and thermal imagery and range finders to allow the Type 90C to use LAHAT missiles. The Type 90C also recieved explosive reactive armour on the main hull which allowed it be to be able to hold its own against many tanks used by Rodarion's neighbours. The Type 90C was mass produced until 2004 when it was tasked to replace all previous models. In 1998, the Papal Army began receiving Type 99 Main Battle Tanks following a second deal with the Papal Defence Corps, as such all production of the T90C was halted. The Papal Army currently fields 3,132 Type 90Cs.

The Type 90 model has also been mass produced for foreign militaries, between 1979 and 80, Rodarian manufacturers produced 650 Type 90As for the Tarsan Imperial Legion before the country was given production rights by the Rodarian government.

Variants

Rodarion

  • Type 90A: base line model, mass produced between 79-84.
  • Type 90B: Type 90B recieved an improved engine and reinforced gear system, the laser range finder was also upgraded and ammunition storaged was moved from the hull to the bussle. The M33 Autoloader was also added, increasing its firing rate.
  • Type 90C: First Rodarian tank to recieve Explosive reactive armour, a thermal imager and laser-rangefinder/designator, improved communications suite for better coordination among other armoured units, it also recieved the T-445 L52 130mm smoothbore gun which allows for the use of anti-tank guided missiles including LAHAT.