Why would they buy simulators before they induct the platform?
I don't know for sure but would speculate that if a simulator has been developed already then they have been properly funded so far and for the Army to adopt them suggests the simulators do the job of training soldiers to drive tanks without actually taking tanks out and wearing them out.
The small production numbers right now suggest to me that they are just trickling the T-90 into service while its final production upgrade is being perfected... it seems that what they have developed so far is not satisfactory to some, but an upgrade and final production model will be developed... they can't just continue with what they have, especially now that the T-95 has lost funding too.
As it is now it has faults and the purpose of Burlak is to fix as many of those faults and introduce modern features like battle management systems and turret bustle autoloaders and new ERA that was developed a while ago but hasn't been used yet on a Russian tank.
It gets stuff into service that has been in development for a while and that is a good thing.
We can't wait 5-10 years. We are spending the money in the next two which is why France and Germany are the only source of technology.
So you want to throw out the existing solution and the next gen tank and just buy bits from France and Germany?
The stuff from Germany is just light armour.
Very simply if you make a light armoured vehicle from steel you start getting problems because if you can only have x kgs of weight for the armour then steel armour can get rather thin. All of a sudden it is not thick enough to take a rough ride across country so one solution is to use lighter material like Aluminium.
Al is so light you can have a sheet 30mm thick where with steel a 5mm sheet weighs the same. The problem is that a 5mm thick sheet of steel is not strong enough structurally when you are bouncing across country in a 15 ton vehicle and you get hull cracks and structural failure. That means you need to build a superstructure that you fit the sheet steel armour to, which makes the vehicle much heavier without adding protection.
With Al armour, or even composite material, because it is so light you can use lots of layers or much thicker sheets so the armour can be the hull of the vehicle and all the components can be hung off that. It makes the vehicle lighter.
What Germany has is a way of making sheet armour that is light and yet thick and strong enough to use as both armour and structure for the vehicle it is used on.
The only deal will be a maker of armour in Russia will licence produce the new German armour for light vehicles and then that will be used in new light armour in Russia, for example the BTR-90 is going to get a makeover no doubt where the engine will likely be moved to the front so rear hull doors can be added. It will probably get new thicker German light armour for better protection without dramatically increasing weight.
BTW from what I have read they really don't want to spend money on tanks and will be giving away lots and disposing of a lot more.
With the transition to military districts we might see forces being equipped to suit their location, with mostly tracked vehicles in the more rugged areas and more wheeled vehicles in the western areas.
T-90 and T-72 already share standardisation, don't need Burlak for that.
The only thing the T-72 and the T-90 have in common is that they were made in the same factory. The T-90 is a cheap and cheerful T-72 with its guts ripped out and replaced with state of the art stuff as used in the T-80 so that it could compete with said vehicle.
The T-72s in service will have a different gun, different engines, different wheels and tracks, different FCS etc etc even the ERA is different between models, and if you want a net centric army then you need digital battle management systems and good navigation and communications systems in all your vehicles.
Even the BTR-82/-82A s are getting new navigation and communications stuff and new fire control systems that apparently includes time fused 30mm shells similar to the ANIET system for the 125mm HE rounds.
There isn't going to be an upgrade of 5-6 thousand tanks. The storage tanks will sit as is. The 2200 front-line tanks are those going to be upgraded. I doubt they will even get around to upgrading many T-72s. If we can stop exporting T-90 we can have the full lot number after 2017.
After freeing up the cost of storing and maintaining 20,000 tanks the cost of 6,000 tanks will be much easier to manage. Upgrading them to the same standard to share the same parts will make it cheaper to own and use them. Just upgrading the 2,200 that you use will be a pain in the butt when it comes time to actually get a few out of storage only to find the ERA it used is no longer in production and the HE inserts for the stuff used in the 2,200 operational vehicles doesn't fit, or that there are no spares for the engines of the vehicles in storage etc etc.
It doesn't need to be done all at once, but gradually all of the tanks in storage should be given periodic overhauls where standardised equipment should be added.
This would be the easiest and cheapest way to standardise the equipment and to take advantage of large production runs.
Then it doesn't make it a Burlak upgrade now does it.
It was never set in stone. It could be argued that the Burlak upgrade has already incorporated elements of the Black Eagle mockup with its turret bustle autoloader anyway. The point is that they need an upgrade that can become a new production standard for future T-90s and to apply to the tanks you are going to keep.
It certainly already included French thermal sights licence produced in Russia, if it now adds communications, navigation, FCS, and other products of Thales then I would guess that was because they were better than those used in Burlak originally... and that is a good thing. I have read that lots of components of Burlak were foreign anyway but there were problems with supply where components were substandard and the designers were making their own substitute parts. It might be that some parts were coming from traditional suppliers of components for Soviet tanks, ie from Belarus or the Ukraine or whereever. Now it seems they will come from France... it only makes the T-90 better.
What I don't want to see is the T-90 left as it is trickling into service, T-95 cancelled and nothing to replace the T-90 and the mighty Russian tank industry reduced to a production workshop for French tank designs.