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Unveiling Russian Military Technology: Ukraine Delivers Captured T-90A Tank to United States

According to images shared on the Twitter account of “Walter Report” on April 13, 2023, Ukraine has transferred a Russian T-90A Main Battle Tank (MBT) to the United States. This tank was seized and utilized by Ukrainian defenders before being handed over to the United States.

As per data released by the British Intelligence Services, repurposed captured Russian equipment and combat vehicles now make up a significant portion of Ukraine’s military hardware. It is estimated that Ukraine has captured approximately 440 Russian main battle tanks and around 650 other combat vehicles since the invasion.

To delve into history, following the collapse of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the United States and several NATO countries swiftly recovered Russian-made equipment and armored vehicles used by East Germany. Additionally, during the Gulf War, the Americans amassed a substantial quantity of Russian-made military equipment.

The United States has various reasons to find the receipt of captured Russian vehicles from Ukraine intriguing. One such reason is that it allows the U.S. military and intelligence agencies to conduct a technical analysis of the vehicle, obtaining valuable insights into its design, capabilities, and vulnerabilities. This information can be utilized to develop countermeasures and tactics to neutralize or exploit these vehicles in potential conflicts.

Another reason is that studying captured vehicles provides insights into the tactics and strategies employed by Russian forces or their proxies, thereby enhancing the training and preparedness of U.S. and NATO forces. Moreover, physical access to a captured vehicle enables U.S. engineers to reverse-engineer its components and systems, potentially leading to the development of new technologies, upgrades for existing platforms, or countermeasures to neutralize enemy capabilities.

Based on the tank’s markings, the T-90A belonged to the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian army when it was captured near Kharkiv in September 2022. The T-90A is an upgraded version of the T-90 tank, which itself was a modernized variant of the Soviet-era T-72 tank. It features enhanced armor protection, a more powerful main gun, and an upgraded fire control system. The tank is equipped with a 1,000-horsepower diesel engine, offering a top speed of around 60 km/h (37 mph) and a range of approximately 550 km (342 miles).

The T-90A utilizes a combination of composite armor, explosive reactive armor (ERA), and an electro-optical active protection system called “Shtora” to enhance its protection capabilities. It possesses a low silhouette and advanced camouflage features, making it challenging for enemy forces to detect and engage.

The T-90A’s armor technology is of interest to U.S. intelligence due to various reasons. One such reason is to gain insights into the protective capabilities of Russian main battle tanks by analyzing the T-90A’s armor composition and effectiveness. This knowledge is crucial in assessing the potential threat posed by these tanks and developing appropriate countermeasures.

Furthermore, by examining and reverse-engineering the T-90A’s armor, U.S. researchers can identify innovative materials and design techniques that may enhance the development of future U.S. armored vehicles. This could result in improvements in the protection and survivability of American tanks and other armored platforms.

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