Archive for the ‘Russia’ Category


The Russian hosts were the first to cross the finish line in the relay tank biathlon race which capped the large-scale International Army Games, in which troops from over a dozen countries competed during the last two weeks.

Teams from Russia, Serbia, China, and Kazakhstan qualified for the final event of the inaugural Games, which was overseen by Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

The Russians overtook Kazakhstan, which had led the pack earlier, at the beginning of the second stage, and remained in front till the end, clocking an impressive time of 1 hour and 14 minutes, Tass reported.

The Chinese team came in second for the day, with the Serbian tank crew completing the podium.

Despite a good start, the Kazakhstan team had to settle for fourth place at the Alabino firing range outside Moscow.

Members of the Kyrgyz Defense Ministry team during the Tank Biathlon World Championships at the Alabino training ground in the Moscow Region

The tank contest is conducted like a classic biathlon, with each vehicle aiming to cover around 20 kilometers in the shortest time possible, while shooting at various targets.

All the teams participating in the Games were using Russian T-72B3 tanks, the only exception being China, which brought their own TYPE 96A tanks to the Moscow Region.

The Indian team takes part in the Tank Biathlon World Championships semifinal at Alabino base outside Moscow.

Some 2000 servicemen from 17 countries, including Russia, China, India, Venezuela, Kuwait, Pakistan, Mongolia, among others, competed against each other as part of the International Army Games, which Russia hosted between August 1 and 15.

The program for the Games included a Tank Biathlon, an AviaDarts air force competition, the Caspian Cup naval contest, and the Suvorov Onslaught, where military personnel test their land and aerial skills.

The Kazakhstan team takes part in the Tank Biathlon World Championships semifinal at Alabino base outside Moscow.

Over 250,000 spectators attended the events held at various venues during the 2-week competition.

The cup for overall victory was awarded to the Russian team on Sunday.

May 9 Red Square for the first time was the world’s first new generation tank

Public demonstration of the main tank and heavy BMP family “Armata” May 9, 2015 at a parade to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War made a lasting impression on the domestic and foreign military specialists and experts, has caused heated discussion in the media and social networks. Indeed, the first time since 1977, when the parade in Moscow was shown the T-72, on Red Square was a tank of new generation, radically different from previous models. New armor and artillery will shape the key elements of the weapon system for decades to come.

Victor Murakhovski

NEW armored vehicles in weapons systems

In the changed conditions in the XXI century forms and methods of warfare, the development of technical means of warfare there is a need to create the most unified interconnected ground combat platforms, allowing to provide qualitative superiority over the competition.

As a result of the joint work of the Ministry of Defence, industry, research organizations developed the concept of armored vehicles (armored vehicles), approved by the Minister of Defence.

The concept set forth a clear understanding of the role and place of armored vehicles on the battlefield of today, and it solved in the long term problems. On a sound scientific and practical basis formulated the concept of building a unified system of armored vehicles and military vehicles (BAT) of the Armed Forces, with the definition of requirements for the nomenclature of families and types of equipment, their combat and operational parameters.

The system of armored vehicles and BAT relies on a single unified platform, class is determined by their weight: heavy, medium and light. A single, unified platform offers maximum unification of the chassis, modules, assemblies, nodes, interfaces within the same category of family cars. Moreover, unification is provided and between families of different categories. Such unification logically led to the need for a single platform, built on the principle of “digital electronic board with an open architecture.”

Armored personnel carriers on the basis of a unified platform wheel “Boomerang”.

For the first time in the history of the domestic tank production of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense in cooperation with the industry in 2010-2011. simultaneously launched development activities (R & D) in key areas of armored vehicles to meet new requirements: a unified platform Tracked severe category of “Armata” unified Undercarriage middle category “Kurganets-25”, unified wheeled platform “Boomerang”, unified platform for action Arctic region “Arctic”.

This completely new, realized the world’s first family of machines is within a unified platform tracked severe category “Armata”. In the first phase development of the Defense Ministry ordered three samples: the main tank, a heavy infantry fighting vehicles, armored recovery vehicle (ARV). Creates family car “Armata” Ural Design Bureau of Transport Machinery (UKBTM), Chief Designer – Andrey Leonidovich Terlikov.

In the future, unified platform “Armata” possible development of command and staff vehicle tactical, engineering machinery series of front edge (obstacle clearing engineer vehicle, launched bridge, a minelayer, armored demining machine), an anti-missile system, other systems for installation of armament, combat, technical and logistic support.

BMP-based unified Undercarriage middle category “Kurganets-25.”

Of particular interest to the Russian Defense Ministry is a pair of “main tank – a heavy infantry fighting vehicles.” Presence in the order of battle of this technique allows to implement new tactics to meet the most modern techniques of warfare. In particular, the occurrence of heavy infantry fighting vehicles capable of operating in a single armored battle array along with tanks, suppress and arbitrarily break through a strong defense, antitank means.

Heavy BMP par with tanks able to overcome areas of concentrated artillery fire and barrage the enemy with the minimum costs.They can operate at a minimum distance from the first line of attack artillery support and even “under the umbrella” breaks their shells. This greatly reduces the possibility of the enemy to counter the attacking troops with new machines. Dismounting infantry, thus ensuring a minimum distance from the defending enemy, almost on his head, as opposed to BMP with easy booking for which the line dismounting actually coincides with the transition to the attack abroad.

The main tank and heavy infantry fighting vehicles have a high tactical maneuverability on the battlefield, because such opportunities are determined not only and not so much the technical parameters of mobility as the ability to act under fire, to overcome natural and artificial obstacles, direct fire to suppress the enemy firepower.

Heavy infantry fighting vehicles on the platform “Armata”.

The appearance of the main tank and heavy infantry fighting vehicles on a unified platform allows you to practice to realize the concept of “heavy” teams, organizational and staff structure that is designed for action against technologically advanced enemy, having a high intensity combat formations antitank weapons, armored vehicles and artillery.

However, the use of “heavy” compounds against illegal armed groups equipped with wearable antitank weapons (TCP), to minimize the use of infantry in dangerous places, realizing remote fire destruction under the guise of a powerful armor and active protection.

Thus, the front edge of the complex machinery of the family “Armata” is a universal means to effectively combat missions in conflicts of all types and sizes while maintaining people’s lives.

FEATURES The layout and design of the T-14 (object 148)

For the first time in the world in the tank T-14 realized a revolutionary layout, aimed at maximizing the security of the crew. For this crew compartment, located in front of the machine body, performed separately from the crew compartment with arms and ammunition. Thus, the crew placed in the cubicle, a kind of “capsule” where possible and to minimize the impact on him of fires and explosions of fuel and ammunition in case of penetration of armor or combat engine compartment. “Capsule” is also the most secure structure designed to cope with anti-tank mine and explosive means. To ensure the highest level of protection used for new solutions in the field of ballistic, dynamic, active protection.

At the same time in the crew compartment provides exceptional comfort for the crew of ergonomics. Along with automation it will significantly reduce the physical and physiological load tankers, increase the effectiveness and duration of action in everyday use and in a combat situation.

It is no secret that the effectiveness of tanks and other armored vehicles is largely determined by the qualifications, experience, physical and psycho-physiological state of the crews. Many experts believe that on the battlefield to the success of technical and human factors about equal. It is understood that in the case of actions on the tanks “Armata” Russian tankers will benefit on two parameters at least: the maximum confidence in their security and the possibility of accumulation of invaluable combat experience.

In the fighting compartment of the tank taken main and auxiliary arms (the tower in the desert) with fire control system, automatic loader (the housing) with ammunition to the main armament.

In the engine-transmission compartment housed the power plant, transmission, fuel supplies and other operating materials.

Chassis tank includes caterpillar mover with rear wheel drive, front guide wheel, seven road wheels and three support rollers on board.

One of the key features in the design of the tank “Armata” and the family as a whole is first implemented in the practice of world tank building architecture “digital electronic board.” The key here is the principle setetsentrizma and open architecture. Its meaning lies in the fact that the main element of the electronic board performs a digital information exchange network, which covers all units, components, systems and subsystems. The network provides a standard interface to connect to her subscribers. Subscribers are electronic components (microcontroller and microprocessor-based electronic control systems) included (embedded) into functional components, assemblies, systems and subsystems. It is crucial that the operation of the digital network in real time the information is given to all sensors in the network there are commands for all drives and actuators, as well as information on the status of all controls. In other words, the network has in digital form all the necessary monitoring and control tank.

As a result, on-board digital network forms a common information space that brings together the various subsystems of the sample and ensures the implementation of a large number of interrelated and interdependent functions, including running simultaneously.Thus, a single integrated machine control system as a whole: an integrated on-board information and control system (CICS).

The principles of standardization and interoperability of functional division (compatibility) components CICS provide multilevel hierarchical structuring functions and means that each subsystem – the subscriber digital network – must have not only a standard digital interface at the physical level, but also a clear standardized protocol commands and data.

A direct consequence of the principle of interoperability is the ability to change combat and functional modules for samples of armored vehicles based on standardized interspecific platforms.

Multifunctional controls and displays for the crew members provide human-machine interface. Many diverse controls and display characteristic of the previous generation of armored vehicles, replace the multifunction flexibly programmable monitors. It is possible to solve the problem of centralized remote control a large number of heterogeneous systems, systems and devices by a single operator (crew member), simplify the information and control field, increased ergonomics jobs tankers.

The open architecture of the digital electronic board allows painless and cost-effectively upgrade individual components and systems platform “Armata” as they become more sophisticated products.

Some parameters of the tank “Armata”

Layout : crew compartment at the front of the housing, uninhabited combat compartment and the tower. Digital electronic board with an open architecture.

Crew : 3 people.

Command control : digital communication system, software and hardware unified management of tactical level.

The main armament : a 125-mm gun – launcher 2A82. Smoothbore gun of high power with avtoskreplennym and partly chrome barrel 2A82 is a new development, only superficially similar to the 125-mm tank gun of the previous generation. The achieved level of energy performance and power 2A82 cannon shots of the new ammunition provide a significant advantage over serial and foreign counterparts.

As additional weapons used remote-controlled machine-gun installation T05BV UDP-1 modular design, equipped with a 7.62-mm machine gun PKTM (6P7K).

The fire control system : vsesutochny commander’s panoramic sight, multi vsesutochny sight-guidance device gunner, automatic target lock, fully digital ballistic path sensors terms of shooting and ballistic computer.

Powerplant : multifuel 12-cylinder diesel engine with up to 1500 hp

Transmission : a robotic gear shift, reverse, hydrostatic transmission in the drive rotation disc brakes in the final drives.


State armaments program for the period up to 2020 provides for delivery to the army in 2300 units of modern tanks. This will equip a new generation of tanks all connections of constant readiness.

At a meeting in Sochi May 13, 2015, on the development of the Armed Forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “Another issue – the creation of new and modernization of existing weapons and equipment of the Land Forces. Some of this technology was first shown at the parade in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The performance characteristics of this new technique significantly superior to their foreign counterparts, and overall it deserves a fairly high ratings military experts. It is necessary as soon as possible to complete all tests and move to mass production. “

It is important that Manning of new technology, at least in positions that determine the combat capability, contract servicemen.Armour has become much more complicated device. The study of its components, assemblies, systems, electronic equipment requires significant expertise and special training. At the same time to make full use of all the possibilities of the family cars “Armata” requires an understanding not only of technology itself, but also the tactics of its application. For the full mastery of “Armata” requires at least one, and preferably two half-yearly cycle of combat training that can only be realized with the personnel crew.

The appearance of the Armed Forces of the tank and heavy infantry fighting vehicles on a unified platform will enable to realize in practice the concept of “heavy” brigades.

For trained personnel “Armata” provides the possibility of implementing a far greater volume of tactics. For example – an opportunity to massive defeats the purpose of a car due to the high probability of hitting the target with the first shot, the use of automatic maintenance mode, select the type of shots, etc., including those on the go. But it requires a good understanding of how the situation and the possibilities of the machine and its weapons-established skills with the equipment, working closely with other members of the crew and complete interchangeability within the crew, which implies a very high qualification.

Taking into account the lessons of the past, including the initial period of the Great Patriotic War, and re-tanks on the new generation of the Soviet Army in the 1970s, it is necessary to fully ensure an integrated approach to the delivery and development of tanks and other armored vehicles in the army.

This implies anticipatory development and delivery to the army technical training of the new generation simulators, interactive learning tools, training and operating models and other modern equipment.

At least simultaneously with armored vehicles have delivered Complete diagnostics, maintenance and repair, the whole “tail” of machines for technical and logistical support.

Do not forget about the timely delivery of ammunition, including training, preparing storage sites and repair of equipment.

It must be time to attend driving courses refinement of combat vehicles, shooting techniques for tactical exercises and other normative documents on the training of crews and units. You may need to clarify certain provisions of the Charter of combat.

Only a large-scale comprehensive approach to the implementation of a new generation of armored vehicles to the troops will enable efficiently and painlessly move to the new look of the arms. And thus fully justify substantial funds allocated to the country of the establishment of modern, combat-capable armed forces is guaranteed to ensure the military security of Russia.

Along with the rearmament of the Russian army from cruise missiles, submarines and armored vehicles to small arms and communications, they are actively being worked on in addition to sniper rifles. So in the near future, namely in the next year troops will have a new sniper rifle.

The development of the new sniper complex is under the name“Precision” it became known in 2013. Five companies have been involved in production to include TSNIITOCHMASH . The final version of the weapons comes available in two calibers, unique to Russia: 7,62×51 mm caliber (NATO cartridge) and 8x.6×69 mm (Lapua Magnum). The effective range of the rifles is out to half a kilometer. The reason for manufacturing weapons in two calibers is the features of the ballistics for bullets. For example, one is to achieve maximum accuracy at distances up to 500 meters possible with the caliber 7.62×51 mm, and to maximize the destruction of targets at distances more than 500 m is most suitable for the  caliber 8.6×70 mm.

ORSIS T-5000

In turn, rifle ORSIS T-5000 is manufactured at the factory “ORSIS” concern “Survey Systems” in Moscow, and is known in military circles as “the Russian Terminator.” The rifle exists in three caliber versions: 7.62 × 67 mm (Winchester Magnum), 7.62 × 51 mm (Winchester) and 8.6 × 70 mm (Lapua Magnum). The material of the barrel is stainless steel 416R, and rifling in the bore is made ​​by cutting in a single pass, which today is the most accurate. The material of main parts, including the trigger mechanism of T-5000 is stainless steel.

Lodge rifle aluminum alloy D16T, which is not inferior to the strength of steel, but at the same time it is just as strong if not stronger. Additionally, it is not affected by changes in temperature, for example, when moving the rifle from a warm temperature into the cold. In fact during testing of the T-5000, researchers were shooting in 73-degree cold temperature, and such a low temperature had no effect on accuracy.

ORSIS T-5000 with a short barrel

The new Four-chamber muzzle brake, kompensotora significantly reduces recoil. It comes with a frfle bipod attached to the forearm console on which the Picatinny rail is attached. It is also fitted with an adjustable butt stock. It comes with a three position safety device and box detachable magazine able to carry 5 to 10 rounds. The weight of the T-5000 varies from 6.1 to 6.5 kg, and the length unfolded rangers from 1060 to 1270 mm.

The resource barrel can withstand 5,000 shots of 7.62×51 (Winchester) without degrading the accuracy. At the T-5000, this figure is half a minute of arc (at a distance of 800 meters spread fire hit no more than 11 cm). No pre zeroing needed in any weather and at any time of the day or night T-5000 hits a target at a distance of up to 1650 m. In the future, a modernized version will increase the distance up to 2000 m.
There is a thought that “accuracy” should be replaced with time efficiency that the  T 5000 offers, as well as foreign high-precision sniper rifles, which are now in service with, for example, the British Accuracy International and Sako TRG , and the Austrian Steyr-Mannlicher SSG 04 . But most likely the sniper complex will complement the “Russian Terminator” and will effectively will complement the full range of problems faced by the Russian special forces.

Sako TRG

Steyr-Mannlicher SSG 04

The T-80 is a glaring lesson in why heavily-armored tanks can hide major weaknesses. Once considered a premium tank by the Russian military establishment, T-80s suffered savage losses to lightly armed guerrillas during the First Chechen War. The tank’s reputation never recovered.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The T-80 was the last main battle tank to come out of the Soviet Union. It was the first Soviet tank to mount a gas turbine engine, giving it a top road speed of 70 kilometers per hour and an efficient power-to-weight ratio of 25.8 horsepower per ton.

This made the standard T-80B one of the most nimble tanks to come out of the 1980s.

The Chechen rebels’ combat prowess–and poor Russian tactics–was more responsible for the T-80’s losses than the inherent design. Though, it did have one major flaw. But in the end, it was too expensive and guzzled too much fuel. The Russian military grew to favor the more economical T-72 series instead.

The T-80 was an evolution over its predecessor, the T-64. As the most modern tank design of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the T-64 was a departure from the Soviet penchant for simple armored vehicle designs, such as the T-54/55 and T-62.

For instance, the T-64 was the first Soviet tank to replace human loaders with mechanical autoloaders, reducing the crew from four to three. The T-64’s second trend-setting innovation was the introduction of composite armor, which layered ceramics and steel together to provide superior resistance compared to only steel.

Further, the T-64 had lightweight, small diameter all-steel road wheels in contrast to the large, rubber rimmed ones on the T-55 and T-62.

The first mass produced variant, the T-64A, mounted the huge 125-millimeter 2A46 Rapira main gun, which was so popular that it came included on all subsequent Russian tanks … up to the T-90. Remarkably, the T-64A packed all of this potential into a petite 37-ton package–relatively light for a tank of this size.

But as marvelous as these innovations were, the T-64 had a sensitive 5TDF engine and unusual suspension–both prone to breaking down. As a result, the Soviet army deliberately assigned the tanks to units stationed close to its manufacturing plant in Kharkov.

Even worse, rumors circulated that the T-64’s new autoloader chomped off the arms of crew members who strayed too close. It’s a plausible scenario given the T-64’s tiny internal space.

While fixing the T-64A’s automotive maladies, the Soviets developed an interest in developing a new tank with a gas turbine engine. Gas turbines have high acceleration and an efficient power-to-weight ratio, can start quickly in cold weather without prior warm-up–a necessity in Russia’s frigid winters–and they’re lightweight.

On the downside, gas turbines guzzle fuel and have higher susceptibility to dirt and dust owing to their voracious air intake compared to conventional diesels.


The original base model T-80 didn’t enter active service until 1976–much later than planned. The Soviet tank industry had its hands full working out the T-64A’s kinks and gearing up for producing the T-72 as a cheaper backup option. At the same time, the Soviets were building more T-55s and T-62s for Arab allies which had lost hundreds of tanks during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The early-model T-80s also had their problems. In November 1975, the USSR’s then defense minister Andrei Grechko blocked the tank’s production because of its wasteful fuel consumption and few firepower advancements over the T-64A. Five more months passed before Grechko’s successor, Dmitriy Ustinov, authorized the new tank to go into production.

The original T-80’s production line continued for two years–not long–as it was already outclassed by the T-64B tank, which featured a new fire control system that could fire 9M112 Kobra missiles from its main gun. More serious, the T-80 was nearly three-and-a-half times more expensive than the T-64A.

The T-80B succeeded the baseline model in 1978. As the most advanced “premium tank” in the East, the Soviets beginning in 1981 assigned most T-80Bs to its highest risk garrison–the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany.

Its high speed earned it the nickname “Tank of the English Channel.” In Soviet war game calculations, T-80Bs were able to reach the Atlantic coast within five days–assuming that they didn’t run out of fuel.

This new variant borrowed from the T-64. In addition to firing conventional sabot, shaped charge and anti-personnel fragmentation shells, the T-80B’s 125-millimeter 2A46M-1 smoothbore gun could launch the same 9K112 Kobra missiles.

Since this anti-tank guided missile was considerably more expensive than regular tank shells, the tank only carried four missiles compared to 38 shells. The missiles were intended to swat down attack helicopters or ATGM-capable vehicles beyond the range of the T-80B’s conventional gun rounds.

A co-axial 7.62 x 54-millimeter PKT and 12.7 x 108-millimeter NSVT Utes machine gun for the commander’s cupola rounded off the tank’s anti-personnel weapons.

While the T-80B boasted advanced composite armor, it had even greater protection through its Kontakt-1 explosive reactive armor, or ERA. Arranged in the same horizontal layers as late production T-72A tanks, ERA-equipped T-80Bs were called T-80BVs.

T-80BVs in column formation.

In 1987, the T-80U succeeded the T-80B in production, if not absolute numbers.

Externally, the T-80U mounted Kontakt-5 reactive armor. This was an improvement over Kontakt-1–which used an add-on array of explosive filled shingles. Instead, Kontakt-5 was a factory applied set of plates pointing forward to maximize the deflection angle of incoming rounds. Kontakt-1 was only useful against shaped charge warheads, while Kontakt-5 added resistance to kinetic energy sabot rounds as well.

Internally, the T-80U traded the T-80B’s 1A33 fire control system for the more advanced 1A45. The engineers swapped out the Kobra missiles with the laser-guided 9K119 Refleks guided missile–a more reliable, longer range and harder hitting weapon. T-80Us crammed in seven more rounds of 125-millimeter shells than the T-80B.

But the T-80U didn’t last long in production. Its new GTD-1250 turbine was still too fuel hungry and maintenance heavy. In its place came the diesel powered T-80UD. This represented the last T-80 variant to be produced in the Soviet Union. It was also the first of its kind to see action outside of a training school … if “action” meant blasting tank shells into the Russian parliament to settle the October 1993 constitutional crisis.

The December 1994 separatist war in Chechnya was the first action for the T-80 where the shooting was going both ways … and it was an epic disaster.

When rebels in Chechnya declared their country’s independence, Russian president Boris Yeltsin ordered troops to bring the former Soviet republic back to the fold by force. These troops took T-80Bs and BVs with them. The soldiers had never trained with the T-80 before. Ignorant of the new tank’s gluttony for fuel, they ran their engines dry while idling.

The Russian advance into the Chechen capital Grozny was a near massacre for the invaders–nearly 1,000 soldiers died and 200 vehicles were destroyed from Dec. 31, 1994, to the following New Year’s Day evening. As the most advanced vehicle in the Russian assault force, the T-80B and T-80BVs suffered horrific losses.

While impervious to direct frontal hits, dozens of these tanks were destroyed in catastrophic explosions, their turrets blowing off after sustaining multiple strikes from the Chechen rebels’ RPG-7V and RPG-18 rocket launchers.

T-80UD during the 1993 crisis.

It turned out–the T-80’s Korzhina autoloader had a fatal design flaw. The autoloader stored ready propellant in a vertical position, with only the tank’s road wheels partially protecting it. RPGs striking the T-80 in the sides abovethe road wheels were likely to set off the propellant, resulting in the tank’s explosive decapitation.

In this respect, the T-72A and Bs–which received the same kind of punishment–had a marginally higher probability of surviving flanking strikes because their autoloaders stored propellant in a horizontal position below the rims of their road wheels.

A second major fault of the T-80, like previous Russian tanks, was minimal gun elevation and depression. The tank’s gun could not fire back at rebels shooting from upper story rooms or basements.

To be fair, T-80 casualties were more likely the fault of ill-prepared crews, inadequate training and disastrous tactics. Such was the haste of Russia’s rush to war that T-80BVs entered Grozny without the explosive filler in their reactive armor panels, making the armor useless. It was even alleged that some soldiers sold off the explosive inserts to supplement their salaries.

The Soviet army had long forgotten the hard lessons of urban warfare from World War II. During the Cold War, only Spetsnaz commandos and the Berlin garrison had trained for serious city fighting. Expecting little resistance, Russian forces drove into Grozny with infantry buttoned up inside their BMP and BTR transports. Their commanders got lost because they didn’t have proper maps.

Since Russian soldiers were reluctant to exit their transports and clear buildings room by room, their Chechen adversaries–who knew the weaknesses of Russian vehicles from Soviet-era conscription–were free to turn the tanks and other armored vehicles into crematoriums.

It was easy for the Russian high command to blame the T-80’s design for the Chechen disaster–as opposed to clumsy operational planning and tactical inadequacies. But ultimately, it was a lack of money which caused the cheaper T-72 to displace the T-80 as the preferred choice for Russia’s export sales and its post-Chechen wars.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia lost the T-80UD production plant in Kharkov to the newly independent Ukraine. The T-80U factory at Omsk declined into bankruptcy, while the Leningrad LKZ plant no longer made the earlier T-80BV.

For Russia to have three tank types–the T-72 (A and B), T-80 (BV, U and UD) and T-90 (a rebrand of the T-72BU)–made no financial or logistical sense. Each tank had the same 125-millimeter 2A46M gun and similarly performing gun-launched missiles. But they all had different engines, fire control systems and chassis.

In simpler terms, these tanks offered commonality in capabilities but diversity in spare parts, rather than common spare parts and diversity of capabilities. Since the T-80U was far more expensive than the T-72B, it was only logical for a cash-strapped Russia to favor the T-72.

But Moscow continued to experiment with its T-80s, adding active protection systems–which use millimeter-wave radar to track incoming missiles before launching explosive countermeasures. The resulting T-80UM-1 Bars was revealed in 1997 but did not enter production, probably again because of budget cuts.

Russia did not use the T-80 during the Second Chechen War of 1999-2000, or the brief 2008 conflict with Georgia–as far as we know. T-80s have so far not joined the war in Ukraine.

Once again coming into fashion are the traditional hysterics and public hand-wringing on the theme that “Russia doesn’t produce anything, but just pumps gas,” with the inevitable addition of the iron forecast that “everything is bad, and will only get worse.” Apparently expecting that industrialization can be carried out in a maximum of 12 or 18 months, some citizens are actively interested by the topic “Where is import substitution?!!” Other citizens are actively dissatisfied with the fact that Russia has not yet learned to produce iPhones, which to many seem to measure technological progress.

First, one needs to look at the recipe for turning into an “international factory” in the concrete example of  China. For this, several components are needed: the cheapest labor possible, a maximum preferential treatment for foreign investors, and total disregard for environmental standards and the safety of labor. As an illustration, we can recall the suicide of Chinese workers at the FOXCONN factory, the very company that produces iPhones:
The photos of rivers and lakes full with chemicals, stories about the “cancer villages”, and the official recognition by China’s leadership that the environment has become an issue of national importance, the curious can easily find yourself can easily be found independently by curious onlookers.
Besides this, China has an enormous advantage: an enormous internal market which can be developed, the expense of which can already be ensured by the returns of industrial development.
When liberals in the like of Gref and Kudrin remorse that in Russia the growth of wages for the last 15 years has greatly outstripped the growth of the productivity of labor, in fact they are saying that what is very bad is that Russia did not follow the Chinese path. Our liberals (and some statists) are pleased to freeze wages at the average level of the year 2000, or at around the level of 80 dollars, so that this, unquestionably would ensure the transformation of Russia into the “assembly plant of Europe.”
Only by this would those who whine on the internet about our lack of industrial growth be happy. Putin understands what the liberals and some statists don’t understand when they regret that “labor costs increased four fold in 15 years.” After the horror of the 90’s and the deficit at the end of the 80’s, an attempt to put the entire country in 10 years on “Chinese rations” would end in demographic catastrophe and, it’s possible, rebellion.
The president has purposefully pursued a policy which for 15 years has enabled Russians to get more and spend more. The president has repeatedly said that we can no longer pay for accomplished successes in economics and geopolitics at the cost of human destinies. As practice shows, only in the case of absolute necessity will be taken which would create discomfort among the population. Unfortunately, few appreciate this.
Roughly speaking, the position of the president has always been that it is impossible to use the population as coal which can be thrown into the furnace of industrial growth. Emphasis was made on the development of areas in which it’s possible to get breakthrough technologies and high profitability. Industry as a whole has grown in the past 15 years:
Furthermore, Russia is now the world leader in the field of armaments, nuclear energy, and space exploration. Winning the bid to construct nuclear power plants in EU countries (Finland, Hungary) has already become a routine for Rosatom, and the leader of NASA recently lamented the fact that “the greatest nation on earth” (of course he means the USA) is compelled to use Russian engines.
The enhanced development of industry, like the enhanced development of agriculture, in the first stage creates serious inconveniences. In the beginning, Russian counterparts for everything, from automobiles to apples, were not as attractive and significantly more expensive because their producers did not subsidize countries with more serious financial opportunities or countries with have an available dollar printer. Recall the protests, meetings, and almost riots which took place during the introduction of protective duties on foreign cars. Who then was interested in the future of the Russian auto industry? To this time, it is still possible to meet citizens who became staunch “white-banner wearers” because “damned Putin” took away their ability to buy used foreign cars for 500 euros.
Now extrapolate this to the whole economy and imagine what it would be like if the same approaches would be applied to all sectors. Now we have considerably more resources, but citizens (in their majority) have adequately perceived that the overlap of imports is not a machination of evil authorities, but a necessary feature of supporting domestic producers, and this dramatically changes the possibilities for import substitution. In the conditions of the activation of geopolitical confrontation, the opportunity has appeared to even break the resistance of some industrialists, literally forcing them to sacrifice short-term economic efficiency in the name of long-term feasibility.
In a recent interview, Minister of Industry Denis Manturov found a poetic description of the situation:
“…those sectors of our economy which consume industrial products have turned towards our industry and have begun to formulate orders. This is an obvious plus. From the point of view of obtaining missing technologies and competition, this is a definite challenge to our engineers and our scientists who will have to cope with this. As a result, in a number of areas we’ll receive samples of products which we never had before in the country, but will now have.”
Judging by the statements of the minister, the process of import substitution in Russia is based on the use of this part of international experience which does not involve the mass creation of work places with a salary the size of three cups of rice a day. Manturov describes a scheme that is widely used in China, Brazil, and India with the addition of strong protectionist features. To some extent even the experience of the pre-war USSR is used. The essence of the scheme is this: the areas where we don’t have the relevant technologies and skills will attract foreign investors. Russian and foreign investors in Russian industry will be guaranteed sales by the bill of the state and orders from the state companies, but in exchange, the investor must ensure the transfer of key technologies and these processes which create the main part of the added value. The Russian auto industry is already going in this way and the results are very good. According to the minister:
“Now, 90% of sales on the domestic market are domestic automobiles produced in Russia. We understood that we are not creating discomfort for anybody and there is no discrimination. If any commercial company wants to buy a certain car which is not produced in Russia, please pay a fee and buy. But a state company or any government agency must rely specifically on those cars which are produced in Russia today.”
Now it’s time to extend the same experience to the rest of industrial spheres. Among the “engines of development” will be traditionally held the defense companies belonging to the state corporation Rostekh for whom the development of civil lines of business remains a priority. Here there is nothing to be ashamed of and no need to have any sort of complex on this occasion. The internet is the brainchild of the US defense industry and there is no reason to believe that the Russian defense industry is incapable of coming up with something equally impressive. It is indicative that even the guru of liberals, the founder of the Higher School of Economics, Yaroslav Kuzminov, admits that the defense industry is vital to our economic growth:
“It is often said, come on let’s halve the weapons program. Now it is already impossible to do this, because the money of an entire generation will be thrown out. It is extremely important not only for our independence, but for the preservation of Russia in the high-tech sector. Now especially these productions form the updated technological potential of our economy. They form a new engineer, a new appliance, and a new skilled worker.”
The depreciation of the ruble, despite it’s total discomfort, works as a productive duty for imports and as a major incentive for Russian exports to compensate for the shallow death of our own market.
Those who panic and freak out will undoubtedly point out that in 2015 industrial production fell. This is true. But from this it is not necessary to make far-reaching conclusion. For example, the industrial output in Germany, seasonally adjusted in June, unexpectedly fell 1.4% compared with May according to the date of the Ministry of Economic and Technology of Germany, but this is no reason to bury German industry. Russian industry requires some time to adapt to new conditions, time is needed for the government program to stimulate industry to work in full force, and time is needed for positive trends to be reflected in statistics. The construction of a new plant or the development of new technology happens slowly than the appearance of food stalls. When we look back five or seven years, we think of current times as difficult ones, but a period of import substitution and the accelerated development of the country’s own industry is needed. We will get everything we need.

ZRPK “Tunguska” despite its age is still considered a masterpiece of Russian military equipment. The vehicle has long been classified. However, in the 80s there were rumors that there was in Russian Army anti-aircraft self-propelled gun, which, they say, was better quality above the system “Cheetah” M247 ZSU “Sergeant York”.

However, people who allegedly saw a new vehicle, talking about completely different: some have described something similar to a real “Tunguska”, but others often mentioned a modernized “Shilka”, which established a quick-six-gun. Now it seems that the competent authorities of the Soviet special “driven misinformation” to divert attention from the real modern self-propelled guns, and did so very successfully. For example, in one of the commemorative books, dedicated to the Soviet army, including moving machinery on the move could be seen expertly retouched sextuple “Shilka”.
The first official mention of the “Tunguska” appeared only after the Gulf War in 1991. Incidentally, the author first saw this vehicle on one of the arms shows just in the early 90s. Powerful, quick-armed with guns and long-range missiles and modern at the time sighting system, compared with the old lady, “Shilka”, it seemed the acme of perfection. Some characteristics of the chassis which are: control wheel, automatic gear, super soft hydropneumatic suspension with variable ground clearance.

Army air defense of the Russian armed forces will receive new anti-aircraft missile systems, according to RIA Novosti news agency reported quoting chief of the Air Defense Forces ground troops Russian Armed Forces Lieutenant-General Alexander Leonov.

“There is a planned refitting of the armed forces, and quite dynamic – are supplied. And not just re – we form new connections and is equipped with brand new weapons. State tests were conducted and put into service a new line of modern complexes,” – said Leonov. According to head of the Air Defense Forces ground troops, it is primarily a question of such complexes as “Tor-M2” MANPADS “Willow,” anti-aircraft missile system S-300VM.

At the same time Alexander Leonov recalled that the approved plans by the end of this year, the troops will be re-equipped with new equipment by 30 percent, and by 2020 – 70 percent.

We add that the complex “Thor M2U” for air defense units of the ground forces in the fighting and in areas of concentration, the protection of command posts, communication centers, radio equipment, bridges, airports, etc. by guided missiles, bombs, airplanes, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and other elements of high-precision weapons. The complex was developed in the Research Institute of Electromechanics in Moscow and produced at the Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant “cupola”. All the facilities of the family “Thor” use a single surface-to-air missile (SAM), which is established in the ICD “Torch”.

“Thor-M2U” has high reflection efficiency of massive attacks of modern means of air attack under intense fire and electronic countermeasures.

All-weather tactical air defense missile system “top M2U” range in Alabino

The head of the Russian military analytic center believes that despite new challenges that are unique for country’s defense history, Russia has a number of advantages in military industry.

Ruslan Pukhov, the member of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Public Advisory Board and one of the founders of the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) based in Moscow, has been following the development of the Russian defense industry since the collapse of the USSR. He has analyzed the key military challenges for Russia’s defense industry.Russia has become the world’s second largest arms supplier after the US, and launched a huge army modernization program worth more than $350 billion, and it it can be considered a great achievement, according to Pukhov.

Russia has a number of significant advantages in its military industry of the US, Pukhov said.

For instance, the country has some exclusive military technologies, which have markets around the globe.In addition, Russian equipment is not as expensive as that of the US. Russian armaments could be constructed by “less sophisticated machines” that will make production cheaper.

The other advantage is the fact Russian arms are “very user-friendly,” allowing people without specific education and skills to operate them.

“US fighter aircraft look like Swiss watches, but Russian fighters look like tanks. Would you prefer to fight with a tank or a Swiss watch?” – Pukhov joked.

After all, Pukhov declared that the country’s military industry is referred in many aspects to the Russian methods of waging wars, which originated in 15th century, proving the famous saying by Otto von Bismarck that “Russia is never as strong as it looks, and Russia is never as weak as it looks.”

Russian tank and railcar maker Uralvagonzavod, faced with a raft of US and EU sanctions, has found solace in an $8.3 billion Algerian transport spending program.

The company signed an agreement with Ferrovial Spa to set up a joint production facility which will produce freight cars, rail tankers and bulldozers, as well as other railway equipment.

Chief Executive Officer Oleg Sienko highlighted that the company would contribute to doubling the existing output at the Ferrovial manufacturing plant, he said: “We have an unprecedented potential for growth in ties as Algeria diversifies its economy. We’re sure Russian companies will be in demand, including our technology.”

Algeria is also one of the biggest weapons markets for Russia, buying as much as $13 billion in arms since 2006, according to the Moscow-based Center of Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. It is estimated that Uralvagonzavod has sold more than 300 T-90 battle tanks to Algeria, makes about half its revenue from producing railcars.

“We will find a way to make things work,” Sienko said. “Of course it makes it harder. The fact that we are on the sanctions list creates difficulties for us.”

The Algerian Government’s transport program consists of an investment $8.3 billion spread across five years which will develop the country’s railway network and fund the construction of a new port.