Balkan security network: Despite losses in Ukraine, Russia has tanks for at least two to three years of war

On May 15, the Russian Ministry of Defense delivered a new tranche of 23 newly produced T-90M Proriv 3 tanks to an unnamed motorized rifle unit of the Central Military District, which began the rearmament of that formation, which until now used T-72 tanks in various variants.

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A destroyed tank in the Kharkiv region, Photo: Reuters
A destroyed tank in the Kharkiv region, Photo: Reuters
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Despite the large losses of armored units characteristic of the current conflict in Ukraine, current estimates indicate that the Russian ground forces could continue with the current intensity of combat operations for at least another two to three years, bearing in mind that the country's military industry factories have managed to increase production new and overhaul tanks from long-term war reserves, the Balkan Security Network portal reports today.

On May 15, the Russian Ministry of Defense delivered a new tranche of 23 newly produced T-90M Proriv 3 tanks to an unnamed motorized rifle unit of the Central Military District, which began the rearmament of that formation, which until now used T-72 tanks in various variants.

Previously, the 90th Guards Tank Division also received T-90M Proriv tanks from the Central Military District, which was also delivered a certain amount of modernized T-72B3M tanks, and Terminator combat support vehicles are also expected soon.

A few days earlier, the Russian state corporation Rostek announced that the production of BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles at the production plant in Kurgan (Kurganmašzavod) has increased by 20 percent since the beginning of the year, and that the delivery of BMD-4M amphibious combat vehicles has also started since April.

Since the beginning of the year, the factory has delivered two tranches of BMP-3 armored vehicles, and it was announced that both that vehicle and the BMD-4M will be delivered to the units in the future with increased armor protection and means of camouflage, in accordance with the experiences from the war with Ukraine so far.

If the announcements of Russian state-owned factories and official bodies can be taken with a critical distance, the fact remains that they did not come true earlier, with the enormous ease of estimating that at this rate Russia will run out of modern tanks within a year.

Those estimates were based on excessive war propaganda and reports from certain specialized portals, such as the Oryx site, which estimated Russian armored losses at more than 4.500 pieces of combat equipment, of which more than 3.000 were tanks alone. By comparison, total Ukrainian losses of tanks and personnel carriers on that portal are just over 1.200.

After photos of reactivated T-54, T-55 and T-62 tanks began to arrive from the front, it was taken as confirmation of the mainstream narrative that Russia's armored forces were running low, although it later emerged that these assets were largely used. as direct fire support to reserve infantry regiments, in order to replace worn-out barrels of classic artillery.

It is interesting that current photographs of armored vehicles arriving at the front indicate a much greater degree of unification of equipment than it was in the first and second years of the war, when due to the sanctions imposed by the West, Russia was not in a situation to provide all the necessary equipment, but in particular, he sent tanks to the units in completely different series.

Some media, however, claim that it is not about the fact that Russia managed to break through international sanctions or to close the technological cycle on its territory that would provide the entire electronic equipment for new and modernized tanks, but that it is about a kind of war trickery and the proverbial the necessity that the law changes.

There are indications that Russia has managed to buy from friendly Asian countries certain equipment for tanks and armored vehicles that it previously sold to those countries, and which it is now re-integrating into its combat vehicles.

Allegedly, India and Myanmar have sold back to Russia various optoelectronic devices and ammunition that Russian factories can now use to modernize the T-72 tank family from war reserve storage.

According to these claims, Uralvagonzavod imported equipment worth 24 million US dollars from Myanmar in December, and the package allegedly included 200 cameras for tanks and as many as 6.000 sighting devices for modernized T-72s. In a similar deal, night sights were purchased from India in August and November.

What is not fully agreed upon among analysts is how many tanks Russia can actually produce annually in the conditions of a war economy and whether that production can compensate for the losses.

According to estimates by the British Ministry of Defense, Russia can annually produce between 200 and 250 tanks, while the International Institute of War (ISW) estimates that figure at about 100 per month, or 1.200 per year, although it is very likely that this estimate includes not only newly produced but also overhauled and deconserved tanks from the reserve.

It is this reserve that is the key to understanding the entire problem and the basis for answering the question of how long Russia can sustain at this pace with the current losses in Ukraine, reports the portal.

Satellite images referred to by the media following the issue state that only one open long-term reserve warehouse near St. Petersburg has enough T-80 tanks to continue the war for two to three years.

Although these are tanks that are in varying degrees of correctness and completeness, and some of them have been standing there since the collapse of the Soviet Union, in the nearby 61st Armored Overhaul Institute busy work is being done to bring them to proper condition, so footage from different periods indicates that the pile of tanks on the meadow is constantly shrinking.

Similar processes were also recorded in the vicinity of Uralvagonzavod and Omsktranmash, and the number of those tanks is so great that the idea of ​​restarting T-80 production in Nizhny Tagil, in the latest BVM variant, appeared.

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