Russia presented Ukraine and the West with a powerful armored fist, by Yuri Zainashev for VZGLYAD. 03.24.2023.
The domestic military-industrial complex has “fired up”, most of the factories are working in three shifts, said Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev. As a result, according to him, Russia will produce 1,500 tanks this year. Our army will have the most powerful armored fist in all of Eurasia. The superiority of forces on the Ukrainian battlefield will become indisputable. Due to what resources will a record rate of production of armored vehicles be achieved?
Russia will produce 1,500 tanks this year, Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, promised on Thursday. “We will make one and a half thousand tanks this year. Calculate how much our enemy will receive even according to the most optimistic calculations - here is the answer for you, ” RIA Novosti quotes Medvedev.
“Yes, we didn’t think about it some time ago, but it became necessary to launch new arms production. The Soviet Union, let me remind you, in order to achieve at least a balance with Nazi Germany during the Great Patriotic War, it took several years, but it didn’t happen right away - T-34s appeared, and Katyushas, and so on, ” Medvedev recalled.
The Deputy Chairman of the Security Council is convinced that the Russian T-90M "Breakthrough" in terms of its tactical and technical characteristics is superior to Western models of Leopard and Abrams.
“It is quite obvious that, for example, the same T-90M Proryv tank is our newest tank. But, in my opinion, this is now the best tank in the world. In the world! It is certainly better than the Leopard, than the Challenger, than the Abrams, including in terms of its tactical and technical data, even in terms of such a component as mass, ”says Medvedev. The politician noted the maneuverability of the "Breakthrough", speed and good combat work. According to the deputy chairman of the Security Council, "the most important thing is to produce now all this in the required volumes." And for this, according to him, new production facilities are being launched in Russia.
The simplest calculation shows that such a speed means the release of five tanks per day. According to Medvedev, such a pace is quite achievable, since the domestic military-industrial complex has changed markedly.
“The military-industrial complex has become hot, it works actively, most enterprises (I’m talking about this firsthand, but because I drive around them) work in three shifts, they work, as they say, from wheels - they directly give everything to the troops, produce the most modern Russian types of weapons, yes also in a situation where they are really trying to deprive us of components, cut off oxygen in certain areas,” Medvedev added.
The total number of tanks that Russia has in its arsenal is between 10,000 and 12,000, Belarusian military expert Alexander Alesin believes. “At one time, according to the Vienna Document, they were withdrawn beyond the Urals and left in storage there for 30 years. One and a half thousand tanks is one sixth of this number. Most of all there are T-72 models that turn into T-72 B3M, which are not inferior to either Leopards or Abrams. The quantity that Medvedev is talking about is not so much the production of new ones, but rather the “upgrade” of old reserves,” Alesin explained to the VZGLYAD newspaper.
As a result, in the next year and a half, Moscow will have the most powerful armored fist not only on our continent, but also in Eurasia. This will become a very strong argument in negotiations with Western "partners," Alesin predicts.
“True, a very important task arises - to provide tank factories with components for such modernization. There is a bottleneck here. I think that China will help us with elements of an electronic database - and as a result, the obstacle will be overcome by the forces of Russia and Belarus, ”the analyst hopes. He considers the pace announced by Medvedev to be quite realistic.
“The preponderance of forces on the battlefield, in fact, has already been achieved. The fact is that after the collapse of the Union, Western countries stopped updating their tank fleet. Many factories were closed, capacities were curtailed. In order for them to modernize their current models or launch new ones now, it will take a lot of effort, time and money. So Medvedev's words are a very serious claim,” the Belarusian expert told the VZGLYAD newspaper.
The head of the IAMP center of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Vadim Kozyulin, following Alesin, believes that it is hardly realistic to produce so many new armored vehicles that Medvedev speaks about, and most likely it is about modernizing old arsenals. “According to open data, during the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia got 6400 tanks, most of them have since been disposed of, scrapped, cut up,” Kozyulin recalls.
“A lot of armored vehicles were simply “parked” on the territory of factories, behind a fence somewhere, in the open air - and they rusted there for many years.
Unfortunately, this method of "slow disposal" was common. Therefore, the compilers of the reference books did not consider these machines. As a result, the 2020 Military Balance yearbook counted 2,750 tanks in Russia, and 987 vehicles in Ukraine. The Armed Forces of Ukraine were mainly armed with T-64 models. There were about seven hundred of them - in various modifications. At the same time, armored vehicles there also used to stand behind a fence in the open air for years, that is, “in storage” - there were more than a thousand of them, that is, in total in Ukraine by February 24 last year there were more than two thousand tanks, ” Kozyulin emphasizes.
“In principle, we still have the capacity - several tank factories, including UVZ. Probably, now, from behind the fence, ready-made cars are being rolled out from the warehouses, they are repairing, updating, improving, - suggests Kozyulin. - In any case, if Medvedev's promise is fulfilled, it will mean a very high pace of work of our military-industrial complex - high by any world standards. It is clear that as a result of this, a powerful disproportion in favor of Russia should arise on the battlefield in the NVO zone.
According to TASS estimates , in total, Ukraine can receive about 100 modern Western tanks. Earlier, Kyiv had already received from abroad 350-400 Soviet-made tanks, mainly T-72s.
In terms of money, tank modernization is “about 30% of the cost of producing a new similar tank,” MK explained.military expert Alexei Leonkov - and it is precisely through such modernization, in his opinion, that the average production of five tanks per day, which Medvedev speaks of, will be achieved. Leonkov does not exclude that such an old model as the T-64 - or, more precisely, the T-62M, will also be "upgraded". Maybe these vehicles are "morally obsolete, but they can be used as tanks to support infantry." They cannot participate in anti-tank battles, although lightly armored vehicles - armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles - can be easily handled. They can also come in handy for the second echelon of troops on the defensive, when it will be necessary to close gaps if the enemy accumulates a huge force and breaks through the first line, Leonkov admits.
Last week, the German publication Die Welt released its own study, in which it provides its estimates of the pace of work of the Russian tank-building industry. In particular, the publication estimates the needs of the Russian front as two hundred armored vehicles per month. The publication claims that no more than 20 modern T-90 tanks are manufactured at Uralvagonzavod (UVZ) every month.
“And since the need for tanks is ten times greater, the enterprise also modernizes eight tanks of the older T-72 class every month. At three other plants, 50 cars are being modernized per month, and at two more plants under construction, they plan to modify 30 units per month (quote from InoSMI ). As Alexander Goltz, an expert on military affairs and armaments at the Swedish Foreign Policy Institute, explains to the German publication: “In the battle of wear and tear that is now going on in Ukraine, it is more reasonable to use two old tanks than one new one.”
The Russian Kommersant reported in October that another military-industrial complex enterprise, armored repair plant No. 103, located in Atamanovka, Zabaikalsky Krai, received a state order for the repair and modernization of 800 tanks in the next three years.