Russia doubles military repairs, adds new 122mm artillery line

TASS has revealed in an official press release that Rostec’s Remvooruzheniye holding company has significantly ramped up the repair volumes of military equipment since the onset of the special military operation in Ukraine [SVO, Russia uses this term, instead of war or invasion]. 

Burnt tanks return to Russia, repair plants refuse repairs
Photo credit: Defense Express

“The Remvooruzheniye holding of the state corporation Rostec has boosted the volume of repaired military gear. Since the SVO commenced, this number has more than doubled. In 2023, we initiated a line dedicated to overhauling components of the 122-mm howitzer 2A31. This howitzer is crucial for suppressing artillery and mortar batteries, decimating bunkers, and clearing minefields and other field obstacles,” stated the corporation.

Russia is building a second repair line

According to Rostec, 2024 will see significant efforts in repairing large-caliber infantry and tank machine guns, specifically of the Kord type. 

“Moreover, our field teams from Remvooruzhenie are efficiently restoring equipment damaged in the Northern Military District. This includes repairing engineering vehicles like the IMR-2, which are used for clearing obstacles and creating pathways, as well as earthmoving machines, pontoon-bridge parks, and other essential equipment,” stated their press release. 

Remvooruzhenie JSC, a multifaceted holding company, boasts repair enterprises and specialized design and technological bureaus focused on the repair and modernization of military equipment and the development of advanced models for various branches of the military.

War economy

T-62M tanks repair in Russia takes place in a six-day workweek
Photo credit: Topwar.com

Currently, Russia’s economy is significantly driven by its conflict with Ukraine. According to the latest data from Rosstat, the nation’s state statistics agency, the economy grew by 5.4 percent in the first quarter of the year. 

Since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Kremlin has tightly woven military expenditures into the fabric of Russia’s economy. This substantial financial outlay has spurred economic growth, cushioning the blow of Western sanctions. However, it has also stoked inflation, inviting comparisons to the heavy defense spending that undermined the Soviet Union in the 1980s. 

Rosstat’s data showed that the first quarter’s growth improved upon the 4.9 percent rise in the final quarter of the previous year. Yet, this growth came hand in hand with an inflation increase to 7.8 percent for the month.

Burnt tanks return to Russia, repair plants refuse repairs
Photo credit: Defense Express

Repair of land equipment

Russia primarily focuses on repairing heavy land vehicles such as T-72, T-80, and T-90 tanks, along with BMP-3 and BMD-4 armored personnel carriers. The main tank plants in Omsk and Nizhny Tagil, along with the armored personnel carrier manufacturer in Kurgan, are working at full capacity. 

Restoring armored land vehicles damaged in Ukraine diverts resources from the full-scale production of new vehicles. Nonetheless, Russian manufacturers have successfully supplied new vehicles, primarily armored personnel carriers, to the Russian army. 

Watch: Russia repairs its tanks in abandoned buildings in Ukraine
Photo credit: Russian MoD

Since the start of the year, the Russian army has received three shipments of T-90 tanks. A small portion of these were brand new, while most were upgraded older models that had been stored in production warehouses. Similarly, several deliveries have been made of armored personnel carriers to the Russian army since the beginning of the year.

Field repairs

In 2024, BulgarianMilitary.com highlighted a tactic by Russian repair teams deployed near the Ukrainian front line. These mobile units manage to fix damaged combat equipment whenever the situation allows. Their repairs go beyond simple welding and bumper replacements, involving full engine changes, component swaps, hydraulic fixes, suspension adjustments, and more. Seriously damaged vehicles are first assessed for repairability on-site. If beyond the mobile team’s ability, these vehicles are transported back to the Russian interior for extensive repairs. 

Ukraine shouldn't repair Leopard tanks as it damages them - Germany
Photo by Andriy Andriyenko / AP

On the Ukrainian side, the situation is more challenging. The Ukrainian army relies on Western-made military equipment that requires specialized repair services unavailable locally. Consequently, Kyiv often has to send these armored vehicles to repair depots in neighboring countries, a process that takes longer than ideal. 

A notable incident involved Ukrainian units attempting field repairs on Leopard tanks, as revealed by German journalists. Unfortunately, these makeshift repairs often result in subpar quality, sometimes causing more harm to the tanks than effective fixes. 

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