Russian Armor: Today and Tomorrow

The today of Russian Armoured Forces, as well as that of the entire Russian Army, is dark. The financing that is allocated is not even enough to keep the existing equipment in good shape. There are definitely not enough funds to maintain a technological edge AND equip the forces with up-to-date military hardware.

Russian Armoured Forces have currently over 20,000 MBTs. However, relatively modern MBTs of the T-72B and T-80B models account for only about 15 percent of these, and even they are in urgent need of upgrades to incorporate modern weapon, protection and electronics systems. Deep upgrade proposals do exist but so far didn't reach the army units. Plans to upgrade about 200 MBTs a year keep being defered from one fiscal year to the next.

Acquisition of new military materiel is at a critically low level. T-80U MBTs are being phased out due to inability to maintain them properly and effective loss of T-80U production capabilities, and the force modernization needs are being fulfilled entirely by T-90 MBTs. These, despite 15 years of production, still account for just 1 percent of the force, and are trickling into the army at a rate of 1 battallion (31 tanks) in the recent years. This rate is expected to continue at least until 2010.

This page is (C) 1998-2007, Vasiliy Fofanov