Russian troops master tank field repairs to factory standard

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The Russian Federation‘s Ministry of Defense has reported that the servicemen from the Russian Army Group East have been successfully conducting field tank repairs, tasks that previously required a factory setting. This new technique has been praised for its sturdiness, enabling swift reassignment of these war machines to the front lines, according to the Russian military

Photo credit: Russian MoD

The sphere of T-80 tank repair and modification is a ceaseless cycle, often stretching into the night. A majority of the repair tasks take 2 to 3 days. However, in severe circumstances, the repair schedule might extend to approximately 5 days. After repair, each tank undergoes a thorough inspection before being returned to their respective military units. 

“At the moment, we’re replacing the damaged sight on a T-80 BVM tank. In the past, there have been situations where a tank’s turret needed replacement. We unreservedly dismantle it and install a new one. Alongside that, we handle modifications to the tank’s chassis, guns, tracks, suspension, and wheels. Additional reactive armor is also attached as required. In a nutshell, we undertake all necessary tasks to enhance the machine’s operational condition,” explained Alexander, the foreman of the repair company.

Damaged tanks come daily

The skilled mechanic, Vladimir, reports that damaged cars arrive daily. To get those back on the road promptly, they need to be repaired not just to high standards, but swiftly as well. 

“We encounter a wide array of mechanical issues when cars roll into our workshop. Nevertheless, we always live up to our commitments. Our aim is to conduct rapid, effective, and more importantly, top-notch restoration of these machines. The goal here is to prevent these cars from lingering in our shop for long. Instead, we aim to return them to service as quickly as possible so they can continue to perform their duties,” shared Vladimir. 

Photo credit: Russian MoD

The expertise of the military repair personnel from the East troop group has sparked the interest of industry experts. Representatives from research institutes value the insights of these mechanics and are eager to understand their perspectives on how to enhance armor resilience and boost the firepower of tanks.

Specialized workshops

In a report by BulgarianMilitary.com towards the end of last year, details were provided on how repair works on damaged Russian armored vehicles are undertaken in the field. This report accentuated the unique approach of the Russian army. Gennady Alyokhin, a reserve colonel and combat veteran from Russia, elucidated that the Russian repair units typically operate right on the front lines, or near them, unlike their adversaries. 

Curious as to how they achieve this? The Russian army employs specialized mobile repair stations known as MTO-UB 1, accommodated on the chassis of Ural-4320 cars. If substantial repair tasks are required, a nearby factory transforms into the supply point for essential spare parts. 

Photo credit: Twitter

Upon the completion of repairs, all machinery has to undergo a rigorous testing phase before being greenlit to re-enter service. The purpose of this thorough process is to decisively rectify all issues, thus minimizing the potential liability of damage under combat operations.

The aggregate method?

Amid war, where tanks and missile launchers undergo known as the “aggregate method”. Simply put, this procedure revolves around swapping exhausted modules with new ones. Uniquely, this method preserves an element that’s indispensable on any battlefront – wear and tear, they go through a refurb significant processishing.

Just like military vehicles, if engines sustain major damage, the instant remedy is to replace them with new ones. The damaged engine, meanwhile, is sent to back the manufacturer for rectification. Alyokhin shares, “This streamlined method allows us to reduce both distance and time without compromising quality.” He adds, “There’s a personal touch to how our team handles each case because it’s not merely about achieving military objectives but also protecting the lives of our soldiers.” 

More often than not, these combat vehicles cannot reach the repair and restoration unit independently. This is where the dedicated soldiers of this specialized unit step in to recover the damaged hardware from the battlefield. Furthermore, in such circumstances, reserve soldiers summoned during partial mobilization play a crucial role in supporting combat operations.

Expert engineering

Military authorities often emphasize the critical role that competent engineering and repair divisions play in swiftly repairing virtually all forms of weaponry and war equipment that suffer minor damage during marches or conflicts. Esteemed figures like Alyokhin suggest that a proficient distribution of responsibilities within repair units could result in nearly 70% of damaged military equipment being made combat-ready again. 

Photo credit: Rosoboronexport

Under the meticulous supervision of experts, intricate procedures such as substituting battlefield artillery system barrels have been efficiently simplified. Alyokhin relayed to the Russian media that even the maintenance of large-scale systems like the 203-mm self-propelled gun Malka, which has an 11-meter and 11-ton barrel, is now achievable within a few hours. 

The process of replacing artillery and tank barrels likely employs high-grade equipment that successfully mimics factory functions. Alyokhin emphasized, “Assuming industrial and logistic means are stable, most repair processes these days can be executed in an astoundingly short period.”

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