CHITA, RUSSIA — Russia has not given up the use of T-62M tanks in Ukraine. Although they are outdated and of Soviet design, Moscow needs them. 103 Armored Plant near Chita took on the task of quickly repairing the damaged tanks coming from Ukraine.
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Since the end of last year, the plant near Chita has been working with new working hours. Before the war with Ukraine, the plant worked not only on military orders but also on civilian ones. Recently, the Chita plant completely switched over to military production. Today, the plant is running at full capacity continuously. The Russian website voennoedelo.com writes that the Chita plant operates six days a week with three shifts a day.
“Restructuring has taken place. In the new organization of work, the plant switched to a three-shift system and a six-day [work] week. Today, the plant works almost around the clock,” the plant told Russian reporters.
Not only tanks
The 103rd Armored Plant not only repairs T-62M tanks but also upgrades them. The cited website says that the plant is also undergoing a complete modernization of the BRDM-2 amphibious armored scout car.
According to voennoedelo.com, the Chita plant is installing a new BRDM-2 power plant. The amphibian also gets a thermal sight and improved armor. BRDM-2 was in service in the army of the Soviet Union, and then in the army of Russia in 1962. Over 7,200 units have been built to date. The amphibian is armed with a 14.5 mm KPVT heavy machine gun and a 7.62 mm PKT coaxial general-purpose machine gun. A GAZ-41 gasoline V-8 engine providing 140 horsepower powers the BRDM-2.
The T-62M tank is a modernized version of the Soviet T-62 main battle tank. Dynamic protection of the front part of the hull is currently being installed at the Chitinsky plant. Otherwise, compared to the T-62, the T-62M has a better active protection system, a better engine, and more modern night sights. Both the T-62 and the T-62M do not have ATGM armament.
Since the beginning of the war, Russia has destroyed a total of 62 T-62M units. Four have already been destroyed in 2023, and the remaining 58 in 2022.
More about 103 Armored Plant
103 Armored Plant is located in the village of Atamanovka near Chita, Chitan Region. It is interesting to know that there is another repair plant in the same area – one for repairing and upgrading combat and civilian helicopters.
Russian journalists called the 103rd Armored Plant “the leader in the Russian Federation”. From the beginning of the war on February 24, 2022, until the end of the year, the plant managed to fulfill all state and private orders on time.
State Duma Deputy Mr. Andrey Gurulyov stated that the armored repair plant [also the helicopter repair plant] located in the area is supplied with orders for the next three years. They can fulfill them, Mr. Gurulyov told journalists.
According to the local website chita.ru, the mobilization announced by the Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin is the reason why the Chita plant has no problems with the workforce. Apparently, to avoid being forcibly sent to the front in Ukraine, some preferred to be in the army, but in the structures of repair works.
A source at the 103 Armored Repair Plant told the local website that between 10 and 15 people appear for interviews daily. “People with two higher educations are ready to work as an electrician’s assistant. There are even queues for vacancies with a salary of 20,000 rubles [that’s 295 US dollars a month],” said a factory employee.
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