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Squadron vehicles: T-90 Bhishma

A special version of the T-90 main battle tank that is in service with the Indian Army comes to the game as a new squadron vehicle, available in the upcoming major War Thunder update!

T-90 Bhishma: MBT, Britain, rank VII


  • Good protection against other tanks.
  • Advanced ammunition!
  • Lacks soft-kill APS.
  • Slow reverse speed.

In 2001, India signed a contract with the Russian Federation for 310 T-90S tanks, upgraded to the requirements of the Indian army. 124 tanks were supplied ready-made, the remaining 186 were to be assembled from components in the municipality of Avadi, Tamil Nadu. Among the changes that were made to the design of serial T-90s were a new welded turret, enhanced anti-radiation protection, the dismantling of the Shtora-1 APS, an IR searchlight, an upgraded undercarriage and engine. As part of the Indian army, the tanks received their own name Bhishma (Sanskrit "the terrible"), in honor of one of the heroes of the national epic Mahabharata.


The Indian T-90 Bhishma tank is a special version of the Russian T-90 tank, modified to fit the needs of the Indian Army. The T-90 Bhishma will arrive to the game as a new squadron vehicle in the upcoming War Thunder major update. Its ERA protection, guided missiles and a modern fire-control system make the tank an exotic and desirable addition to Britain’s top-tier ground forces lineup!

First and foremost, we’d like to let you know the reasons as to why we’re going to be adding this vehicle to the British tree. Britain’s top-tier MBTs are generally niche and are typically geared towards methodical combat engagements. Because of this, additional export MBTs and other vehicles that have ties to some Commonwealth nations will allow for more options and new approaches to Britain’s gameplay. We'd like to note that we are continuing to work on filling the British ground forces tree, which will include various armored, infantry fighting vehicles, and light tanks. These are planned for the future.

Let’s take a look at the main differences of the Indian T-90 Bhishma. Firstly, the Bhishma lacks the well-known soft-kill active protection system (those spooky-looking red eyes), and secondly, the Russian 3BM60 APFSDS round. In the position of where the APS emitters would be, the Indian Army requested additional ERA blocks, which in turn improves the overall turret protection from shots to the front. Additionally, an IR searchlight was mounted on the kingpin of the commander’s hatch to help illuminate targets in the dark. Other differences include another angle of smoke grenade launchers, a different design of the dozer blade, and increased anti-radiation armor — this slightly improves the protection of the tank.

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As the T-90 Bhishma is a modern tank, it offers good protection in the form of Kontakt-5 ERA — as well as an advanced fire control system which promises good fighting dynamics. The T-90 Bhishma also features a large capacity autoloader, and can fire excellent tandem warhead ATGMs from the main cannon.

There are, however, some disadvantages of the T-90 Bhishma. In addition to the lack of APS as we’ve already mentioned, the T-90 Bhishma also has poor reverse speed, which is, unfortunately for T-90 fans, an inescapable legacy of the T-72 series. As T-72 and T-90 enjoyers would know, this in turn may make the T-90 Bhishma tricky to use whilst wanting to roll back behind cover after taking or receiving a shot. The T-90 Bhishma also brings along with it poor gun depression and turret traverse speed.


Just like other squadron vehicles, the T-90 Bhishma can be obtained for free by gaining enough squadron activity points, and can also be purchased for GE. If you’re still without a squadron, the T-90 Bhishma is a good reason to join one in War thunder — or even lead your own. See you in the next dev blog!

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