Russia's military industry doubles down on tank production: Report
T-90M Proryv tanks sport a 125 mm smooth-bore gun, which is also used as a platform to launch anti-tank guided missiles that can also engage slow-moving aerial targets.
Russia's largest state-owned military corporation, Rostec, has reportedly started focusing its resources and capacities on the production of tanks.
Earlier this week, Rostec announced in a press release that Uralvagonzavod (UVZ), a subsidiary company, will be suspending all secondary manufacturing to devote its resources exclusively to tank production. UVZ which generally produced different machines, civilian and military will be re-purposing 100% of its production capacity towards tank production.
Soviet-era thousand-tank fleet
This new production strategy was described to be "game-changing" and "radical" by the Bulgarian Military website in terms of its implications on the battlefield in Ukraine.
This manufacturing shift had been hinted at earlier, by Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the Russian Security Council, who said that "Russia has initiated the production of 1,600 T-90M tanks."
Many international military authorities commented at the time, that "for this to happen, Russia must fully harness its military production capacity to produce tanks," which is what Rostec deliberated to do earlier this week.
"Russia is preparing to begin the return of the Soviet concept of a multi-thousand tank fleet," the Bulgarian Military website reported.
Russia's tank arsenal
As of 2021, Rostec's monthly tank production capacity was at 30 to 35 tanks (of various types), and this production rate has remained relatively stable over the past few years, with slight fluctuations depending on the demand for tanks from the Russian military and other customers.
The company produces a wide range of tanks, including the T-72, T-80, T-90, and T-14 Armata. These tanks are designed for different purposes and customers and have different specifications and capabilities.
The T-72 tank is a main battle tank that was first produced in the 1970s and has been used in many conflicts around the world and is known for its reliability and ease of maintenance.
As for the T-80, it is a more advanced tank that was first produced in the 1978s: it enjoys a stronger engine drive and improved armor compared to its predecessor.
The T-90 tank is a further developed version of the T-72 and T-80 tanks, as it has improved armor and a more powerful engine, as well as advanced fire control systems and other features.
Alongside this series, the Russians have developed the T-14 Armata, a new-generation tank that was first introduced in 2015 and features a number of advanced features, including a commanderless turret, and employs cutting-edge technology in its reactive armor.
The Russian T-90M Proryv (which translates to "breakthrough" in Russian) tank has one of the lowest tank profiles in the world (roughly 2.228 meters) which is half a meter lower than the German Leopard 2. The T-90M also sports a 125 mm smooth-bore gun, which is also used as a platform to launch anti-tank guided missiles that can also engage slow-moving aerial targets.
The small but capable tank can also be loaded with 40 rounds of different munition types, including Refleks-M guided missiles. Additionally, Its Relikt reactive armor is capable of disrupting the penetrating jet of shaped charges munitions as well as APFSDS penetrators fired by tanks.
The tank's autoloader's carousel holds 22 rounds of ammunition and an additional 18 stored in a separate compartment located in the back.
The tank can fire munition at a range of 4000m and missiles at a range of 5000 m.
The tank hosts a crew of 3 soldiers and is equipped with a diesel engine that generates 1130 horsepower, which allows for an acceleration rate of up to 70 km/h (on a paved road) and can travel as far as 500km without refueling.