General: T-90 vs TOW missile


The Washington Post has picked up the story of a Russian built T-90 tank in Syria being attacked with a US built TOW missile.  Video of this incident first appeared in late February and made the rounds in various news outlets and websites.  The original video cuts off shortly after the missile appears to strike the tank, leaving it unclear as to how much damage was inflicted by the attack.  The Washington Post article shows a photo of the T-90 tank taken from the website “War Is Boring” which shows that the T-90 survived the attack largely intact, with the damage being limited to, ironically, the Shtora  counter-measure system.  The Shtora system is intended to electronically disrupt missiles such as the TOW, although in this particular instance the system was either not turned on or not working.  The ineffectiveness of the TOW missile in this particular instance is being attributed to the Kontakt-5 reactive armor which protects the T-90.  The article notes that the TOW missile used in this attack was likely the older TOW 2A model, which flies directly at it’s target.  The newer TOW 2B flies above the target and detonates its warhead downward into the generally more vulnerable top armor of its target.