Leopard 2A6 vs. T-90M
Ukraine now boasts some of the greatest tanks in the world thanks to German exports of Leopard 2A6 models. The two tanks that will soon square off against one another in the war in Ukraine: are the German Leopard 2A6 and the Russian T-90M.
The Leopard 2A6 main battle tank produced by Germany has undergone constant upgrades Since its introduction in the late 1970s. The T-90M, or Proryv (Breakthrough), is an updated variant of the T-90, a main battle tank (MBT) aircraft that originally saw service for Russia in the 1990s.
The 120mm L/55 smoothbore gun on the Leopard 2A6 improves upon its predecessor, the Leopard 2A5, in terms of both accuracy and penetration.
The T-90M is equipped with a 125mm 2A82-1M smoothbore cannon that can fire anti-tank-guided missiles. Both tanks have cutting-edge armament control systems, making them deadly to opponent tanks.
The Leopard 2A6 has a top speed of roughly 68 km/h and a range of about 500 km, thanks to its 1,500 horsepower MTU diesel engine. The T-90M can go up to 60 kilometers per hour and has a maximum range of around 550 kilometers thanks to its 1,130 horsepower V-92S2F diesel engine. Although the Leopard 2A6 can reach a higher speed, the T-90M can stay in the fight for longer.
The Leopard 2A6 has a recoil speed of up to 31 km/h, quite fast for a main battle tank. This recoil speed allows the Leopard 2A6 to quickly get out of a dangerous situation or reposition itself for a better angle of fire.
The Leopard 2A6 is more maneuverable in combat than the T-90M, which has a recoil speed of around 21 km/h. Because of its faster recoil, the Leopard 2A6 can better avoid enemy fire, shift positions, or escape from a bad situation than the T-90M.
The Leopard 2A6 boasts cutting-edge composite armor, and its turret’s been upgraded with modular armor for maximum protection. T-90Ms are equipped with Relikt explosive reactive armor, making them more resistant to 21st-century anti-tank weapons.
Both the Leopard 2A6 and the T-90M have options for APS (Active Protection Systems) that can stop anti-tank missiles in their tracks. These systems are the Rafael Trophy on the Leopard 2A6 and the Afghanit on the T-90M.
Both the Leopard 2A6 and the T-90M have modern digital communication and data exchange systems that allow them to integrate with other units on the battlefield to improve situational awareness and coordination.
In conclusion, both the Leopard 2A6 and the T-90M possess advanced firepower, mobility, protection, and networking capabilities. While the Leopard 2A6 has the upper hand in terms of firepower and mobility, the T-90M is still a dangerous opponent thanks to its upgraded armor and protection systems.
The outcome of a possible engagement between these two tanks would depend on several factors, such as crew formation, tactics, and the specific combat situation.
Although the German Leopard 2A6 is a capable main battle tank, it has some weaknesses compared to the Russian T-90M. Relikt reactive, explosive armor of the T-90M outperforms the composite armor on the Leopard 2A6 when it comes to stopping current anti-tank ammunition.
The T-90defenses M’s are further strengthened by the Afghanit active protection system, which is meant to deflect or even destroy incoming missiles.
While in its hull-down configuration, the T-90M is more difficult to locate and engage than the Leopard 2A6. Having your enemies less visible to you is a tactical advantage.
The T-90M utilizes an autonomous loading mechanism, which allows for a minimal crew of just a commander, driver, and gunner. The smaller and lighter tank, made possible by having fewer people on board, can be more maneuverable and stealthy in combat.
The automatic loading system used on the T-90M ensures a constant rate of fire regardless of crew fatigue or experience, unlike the manual loading process of the Leopard 2A6.
The loss of a crew member could significantly impact the tank’s overall effectiveness, as each crew member is responsible for multiple tasks. Some argue that autoloaders may be less reliable or slower than well-trained human loaders.
The T-90125mm M’s 2A82-1M smoothbore cannon provides good accuracy and penetration. The T-90M can reach out to 4,000 meters when using current APFSDS rounds like the 3BM59 Svinets-1 or 3BM60 Svinets-2 (2.5 miles).
The T-90M can also launch the 9M119 Refleks (reported to NATO as the AT-11 Sniper), a long-range anti-tank guided missile (ATGM). The 9M119 Refleks ATGM is a potent weapon against enemy tanks because of its range (about 4-5 kilometers) and ability to pierce current composite and reactive armor.
Its missile capability provides a major range and adaptability advantage to the T-90M, allowing you to engage targets from a safer distance than with traditional tank ammunition. This capability is unavailable on the Leopard 2A6’s 120mm L/55 smoothbore gun.
The T-90M has a longer range than the Leopard 2A6, allowing it to cover more territory without refueling. In some battle situations, this advantage can be decisive.