|Steven J. Zaloga|
48 pages, 7¼ x 9¼ inches, softcover
The fall of the Soviet Union caused a lot of chaos and concern within what was now Russia. Not only were large sections of its previous territory now gone, but the nation was forced into a major era of austerity. This was particularly concerning to the military, which for the first time in ages, had to be concerned about funding for its various weapons systems. Indeed, a considerable percentage of its military equipment was either now in the hands of the newly independent states or was sold off to help pay bills.
It did not mean that development stopped, but it was considerably curtailed. One area of development was for a new tank. Russia had two design bureaus producing tanks. One was producing the T-72 and the other the turbine powered T-80. Both put forward new designs. The T-80 was a fine tank, but expensive and short ranged. The modified version of that was not chosen. What was chosen was an upgraded T-72 which was called the T-90.
It should surprise few that the T-90 was the latest in a long line of tanks. Few are the times when there is a truly all-new tank as happened in the US when going from the M60 Patton to the M1 Abrams. To jump ahead a bit, the T-90 is being replaced by the T-14 Armata, so it is the last of its line. However, going back to the early 90s, the T-90 was chosen as it was very capable thanks to upgrades to weapons and systems, had good range and armor protection and was a tank technicians were used to maintaining. It also saw a goodly amount of overseas purchase, which was sorely needed to keep the company solvent. It is also a combat veteran having been used in some local conflicts.
In this book, we are given a background on the history of the design of this tank as well as a breakdown on the different variants that have been developed using this chassis. A short history of its use in combat is also included. The book offers some superb color photos as well as a goodly number of color profiles and a cutaway drawing showing the basic bits of the interior. In line with others in this series, it provides and great look at the tank, its history and operation. The perfect book for the shelves of the enthusiast. Well worth picking up.
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