Russian army received 1,900 tanks, and another 200 are expected

Sergey Chemiezov, the director of Russia’s state-owned company Rostec, has declared a substantial increase in the nation’s tank production in 2023, escalating by a striking seven-fold, as stated in various Russian media outlets. 

T-90M's thermal camera matrix is Russian-made under French license
Photo credit: Reddit

Simultaneously, Russian military pundit, Viktor Murakhovsky, ascertains that his assessments show a delivery to the armed forces of approximately 2,100 tanks of diverse varieties in 2023 by the Russian military-industrial complex. Notably, this total encompasses the T-54/55 and T-62 series tanks, along with their subsequent modifications, and concludes with the advanced T-90M Proryv. 

The scenario painted might appear foreboding, given the previously presumed capacity of the Russian manufacturers to produce roughly 200 of the new T-90M Proryv tanks annually. 

A thorough perusal of the estimates offered by Murakhovsky presents an illuminating perspective: In 2023, the Russian military was supplied with nearly 1,900 tanks, comprising 210 freshly manufactured tanks, 840 modernized T-72B3 tanks, in addition to 840 reinstated T-80, T-72, T-62, and T-55/54 tanks.

Two years prior, the Russian military procured merely 30 fresh production tanks and 120 refurbished units. In stark contrast to this, the year 2020 saw no older models of domestically produced tanks being withdrawn from reserve by Russia. 

However, this depiction can be vastly contradicted when cross-referenced with alternate sources. 

Survey experts from the Swedish research institution, FOI, cite in their report on the Russian Federation’s military capacity after 1.5 years of all-out war with Ukraine, that the Russian military-industrial division now has the capability of delivering far fewer tanks per annum, approximately 520 units. The breakdown is as follows: 

  • 62 units of the T-90M Proryv type and an equal quantity of the T-90/T-90A type;
  • 80 units of T-80BVM tanks;
  • 140 units each of T-72B3 tanks and T-72B3M tanks. 

This data exists despite the Swedish FOI’s reports proposing pessimistic evaluations of Russia’s armored potential, inferring that Russia possesses up to 2,000 varied modification T-64 tanks, and approximately 2,800 units of the T-54/55 tank in reserve. 

Furthermore, their projections speculate that by February 2024, irrespective of current losses and conservative estimation of Russia’s defense production capabilities, the Russian army would still maintain a stock of 2.5 thousand to 3 thousand tanks. 

Given these facts, one may surmise that in 2023, the Russian military will likely amass up to 2,100 diverse types of tanks [depending upon the delivery of the remaining stock of 200 T-90 Proryv tanks by year-end]. 

Nevertheless, for the sake of enhancing this portrayal, Russian defense industry leaders and domestic reviewers have included all tanks within this number, including those retrieved from storage and subject to nominal backlogs at the Ministry of Defense’s armored plant facilities. 

This situation could consequently elucidate the perceived “inefficiency” concerning losses the Russian military leadership incurs when deploying tanks in offensive maneuvers. 

Owing to the belief of Russia’s political and military heads that a limitless stock of Main Battle Tanks (MBT) is available in storage depots, they appear to have the capability to compensate for any losses with relative ease.


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