The arrays may possibly have been improved but the casing shape is not. They should honestly have gone for new frontal hull geometry on the newly built tanks.
How much would that cost and what differences would it make... changing hull angles alters the internal volume and available space and is more than just a cosmetic change in armour protection.
Put the new armour layers in and new ERA and that should be good enough for an space filler tank upgrade.
Photos of double or even triple layer of Kontakt-1 bricks were revealed as early as the 1st Chechen campaign. Yet not sure if was it a sign of desperation or really a working solution - I suppose the outcome was fifty-fifty ...
It has never been used operationally so it was likely propaganda. Western critics suggested the second and third layers would not work but as those ERA modules don't deform I don't see why they would be effected by layers above or below them in terms of the effect they have.
Of course the face that they were only shown at a show and not on operational vehicles suggests it was propaganda...
This whole bag concept is weird and stupid enough, to apply the Murphys Law to it - if something is stupid but works, than ai't stupid.
Two extremely different types of ERA protection might be more effective than multiple layers of the same which seems to not work.
We have seen the bag system used operationally which suggests it works and is worth putting in the field.
Not sure about that. The first 60 were an even split of T-90A rebuilds and T-90M new builds. And original planning seem to indicate that would be the norm.
The fact that they are upgrading the T-90As and 90Ms to the current AM type suggests they want unified tank designs, so making the armour the same would not be that difficult and would promote unity in design and operation...
By 2030 they will want to have moved current armour types to reserves and be operating Armata and Kurganets and Boomerang and Typhoon and twin chassis arctic tractor type vehicles in most units.
The sand is there to tamp down the energy of the detonating active ERA element and protect neighboring modules from fragments. The spacers maintain the required obliquity of the ERA. They also double as ballistic protection from small arms fire up to medium calibers to a limited extent.
Penetrated by cannon fire the sand might leak out but the angled plates and egg cartoons would remain to reduce the performance of heavier anti armour weapons, so they would preserve the ERA elements behind the bags under small arms and light cannon fire.
There was talk of using 50 cal HMG rounds to try to set off ERA to weaken enemy armour, but these would reduce that capacity.
The swedes however made the Strv122 with far improved hull armor, making it completely immune to all russian APFSDS except maybe svinets-1 or vaccuum.
So what.... 300 tanks joining HATO that Russia would have to hit with Vikhr or Kornet... that is fine...
Those original T-90 don't seem to be good for anything including rebuilding. Only the 90A's are planned for upgrades.
They should convert them into Terminators then... and put dozer blades on the front spaced a metre or two forward of the hull with anti mine attachments and with a V shaped blade for pushing aside obstacles...
If they are not upgrading the original 90s then perhaps that is because it would take a lot more work to modify them for the new armour and equipment types adopted in the newer models, which suggests the 90As are getting upgraded armour elements too... or why not not upgrade them like the 90s?