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Tank Troops

Ground Combat Systems

According to experts, there is a dominance of tankers in the Russian Army, just as Ukrainians once dominated in the Soviet Army. Tank generals run everything. Tank generals have always, in general, dominated the armed forces of the Red Army. Now they do not just dominate - they totally dominate. And the chief of the general staff - a tank general, and around him. All districts are headed by tank generals. Kartapolov is also a tank general. They are everywhere. Even the Commander-in-Chief of the Aerospace Forces was also a tank general - Surovikin.

The Soviets apparently chose to build what can best be described as an army of tanks. They evidently concluded that tank forces -- in large numbers and with nuclear fire support -- could successfully perform virtually all the normal ground forces offensive or defensive tactical roles. The Soviets appeared to believe that such tank-heavy forces can also meet their requirements for nonnuclear war.

Hundreds of Putin's army tanks are believed to have been destroyed since the invasion of Ukraine began, but there was no easy way to find out the exact number of Russian tanks destroyed in the war in Ukraine. The open-source website Oryx reported on April 28 that at least 300 tanks from Putin's army had been destroyed, with another 279 damaged, abandoned or captured. However, the portal only counts cases where it has visual evidence, so Russian losses could be much higher. On 25 April 2022, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace estimated that the Russians had already lost up to 600 units of this equipment alone. Although, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, in the first 63 days of the war, as of 27 April 2022 the invaders lost 939 tanks, 21 of them in the previous day.

Periodically, the issue of the number of tanks in service is discussed. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation include ground forces, and now also in the composition of the Airborne Forces, there are tanks, and in the composition marines The Navy also has them (as part of the Coastal Forces of the Navy, they were, in fact, these are ordinary motorized rifle brigades, but registered with the Navy due to the geography of their permanent deployment). Along with long-term storage Russia's tank stock is such that it will be enough numerically for Russia, allies, and potential adversaries. But what about the tanks in line parts There are many different estimates, and very often they refer to different estimates of the early 2010s, when formations and parts of the cadre were liquidated, divisions were converted into brigades. But since then the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation gradually completed the formation of brigades, then proceeded to the formation of divisions.

The exact organizational and staffing structures for each unit or formation are secret, but typical OShS are more or less known. The Military Balance guide published by the IISS reports the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in combat strength of 2780 tanks, but the fact that this is inaccurate can be seen from what tanks and how many. For example, the T-90 and T-90A - 350 vehicles, but in fact there are, let's say, much fewer of them in the troops, and the T-90, in addition to a few vehicles in combat training groups of formations and training camps, mainly stand on the central reserve bases (IISS noted this, but the total figure of 550 vehicles is not true). T-72B3 and T-72B3 UBKh - a total of 880 vehicles, in their opinion, although this modernization has been coming from UVZ in large quantities since 2011, in some years it reached 300 vehicles, and 200 were handed over a year, and all in any way they have in the directory up to 1000 at least not enough, although there have long been more than 1000 in fact. However, even a year or two ago, everything was even worse, there both the T-55 and T-62 were in reserve, for example, which have long been removed from service (although, of course, they are still available at reserve bases, from where the same T-62 and T-62M get to Syria).

The American Insitute for the Study of War (ISW) released a report "Russia's Military Posture - Ground Forces Order of Battle". From there we will take information about the number (for about the second half of last year) and deployment formations of the SV Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. This reference book is also inaccurate, for example, in a number of divisions fourth combat (combined arms - tank and motorized rifle) regiments have already been formed, and there they not indicated, something is not there at all, but this, in general, is not so important.

When calculating, it is a basis that in separate motorized rifle brigades there are 41 tanks - 4 companies of 3 platoons of 3 tanks each plus a company tank in each and plus a battalion commander's tank. And in tank battalions of tank regiments of divisions and separate tank brigades - 31 tanks, in tank battalions of motorized rifle regiments of divisions 41 tanks as a basis (although options are possible), although there is information and that they switched to the 42-tank and 32-tank states - another tank in the battalion's control. There are 3 tank battalions in a tank brigade, 1 motorized rifle battalion, vice versa in a motorized rifle brigade, 3 tank and motorized rifle battalions in a tank regiment, and vice versa in a motorized rifle brigade. The motorized rifle division has 3 motorized rifle and tank regiments (in combined arms regiments, artillery and anti-aircraft missile and the rest of the economy we are not interested in now), the tank division is the opposite.

Of course, there are also so-called heavy ones. Accordingly, there are 41 (42?) tanks in a motorized rifle brigade or regiment, 94 (97?) tanks in a tank brigade, as well as 217 (223?) tanks in a motorized rifle division, and 323 (333) tanks in a tank division. It is clear that the division command also has tanks. Of course, this is in a full-blooded division fully formed, but in reality, somewhere there are 3 regiments, somewhere 3 regiments and a tank battalion, but a regiment is already in the process of formation, and somewhere, maybe even 2 more regiments. But this, of course, is a temporary moment.

So, according to the above report, in the SV Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and Coastal troops The Navy now has 12 armies (1 of them tank) and 4 army corps. In the Western Military District (ZVO), of this number, 3 armies (1 GvTA, 20 Guards OA, 6 OA) and 1 corps (11 Guards AK in the Kaliningrad defensive region), part of the joint operational-strategic command "North" ( Northern Fleet) includes 14 AK on Kola Peninsula, in the Southern Military District (SMD) - 3 armies (8 Guards OA, 58 OA, 49 OA) and 1 corps (22 AK in Crimea), in the Central Military District (TsVO) - 2 armies (2 Guards OA, 41 OA), in the Eastern Military District (VVO) - 4 armies (29 OA, 35 OA, 36 OA, 5 OA) and 1 corps (68 AK on Sakhalin and the Kuriles). As part of the 1st Guards Tank Army, the 4th Guards Tank and 2nd Guards motorized rifle division, 6th separate tank brigade, 27th guards motorized rifle brigade (various formations and parts of army and corps kits do not count), the total is 675 (695) tanks, provided that the fourth regiments are completed in 4 guards.

In the 20th Guards Combined Arms Army - 144 Guards. motor rifle divisions and 3 motor rifle divisions, as a result, 434 (446) tanks come out, provided that the divisions are completed to the end, but it is known that so far the fourth pair of regiments is only being formed there in both divisions. However, it is possible that 144 Guards. The MRD will have not one tank regiment, but two - a tank regiment is being formed on the basis of a separate tank battalion, and meanwhile, the division already has a 228th tank regiment. That is, the division will be something like 150 motor rifle divisions.

In northern and northwestern parts of the Western Military District its much worse with tanks, in 6 OA there are only 2 motorized rifle brigades (138 and 25 omsbr), so there are only 82 (84) tanks per army, and the army is, in general, small. On the other hand, in potential opponents there are only the nano-powers of the Baltic states with three NATO combined battalions inside and Finland. True, apparently, in the RF Armed Forces, when forming divisions, they approach the issue anew in such a way that, obviously, as a result, each army will have at least one motorized division, so some similar decision is not ruled out in the coming years in this case. In the Kaliningrad 11 Guards AK, there are only two motorized rifle brigades (OMSBR), 7 Guards and 79 Guards, in total 82 (84) tanks. Tanks have not yet appeared in the nearby 336th Marine Guards Brigade of the Baltic Fleet, but a company and then a battalion will probably appear in the next couple of years - a similar process is already underway in the Pacific Fleet. So far, no one is forming any divisions there, but such a decision, as it seems, suggests itself in the future. However, this is only a fairy tale from the podium, and the deed is usually done much more slowly. In total, in the ZVO are 1275 (1305) tanks in the ranks of line formations, although in reality there are still somewhat fewer of them. If we add the 14th AK from the USC "Sever" there, then for now there definitely is a tank battalion in the 200th brigade, perhaps it is or will be in the 80th arctic brigade, there are no tanks in the 61st marine brigades yet, but they will definitely appear soon. So far we are counting 82 (84 tanks).

In CVO, according to the same report, as part of the 2nd Guards. The OA now has 3 motorized rifle brigades, numbered 21, 15 and 30. But they are all different. The 21st Motorized Rifle Brigade from Totskoye seems to be the only one in the RF Armed Forces (perhaps not), formed according to the so-called. "heavy staff" with 2 tank and 2 motorized rifle battalions, it has 82 (84) tanks, but the 15th brigade is a peacekeeping brigade, it seems that there is no tank battalion in it, which is up to 30 brigade, newly formed to replace those seized after the start of the war on Ukraine from this army of units and formations (which became the basis for the formation of 144 motor rifle divisions) - there is no information on its composition, except that in it the reconnaissance battalion, following the Syrian traces, seemed to be put on various vehicles, starting with "Tigrov-M" and ending with "Patriots". Probably, there is still a tank battalion there. In general, we conditionally write down 123 (124) tanks for the army. According to the same document, the newly formed 90th Guards Tank Division is part of the 41st OA (earlier there was information that it remained under district subordination, who is right here is unknown), along with the 74th Guards. omsbr, 35 guards. brigade and 55th mountain brigade from Kyzyl in Tuva. The Tuvan "highlanders" don't have tanks, they don't need them, but everyone else has them. It also includes the 201st military base in Tajikistan, which now has three motorized rifle regiments, it seems that there are tanks everywhere. In total, a fairly strong fist comes out in 534 (543) tanks, if everything is correct, of course. In total, 657 (667) vehicles are obtained for the Central Military District.

In VVO, despite 4 armies and a corps, divisions, namely they are the most "rich" in heavy armored vehicles, have not yet been formed, but only so far. Far from all armies themselves can be considered deployed, in a number of them there are 1-2 combined-arms brigades, and with deployed brigades and regiments of an army set. In general, this situation is understandable - China in currently we are not an enemy, but a friend and ally, and we have more and more potential enemies in Europe, in NATO. In total, in all these 4 armies and 1 corps there are 10 motorized rifle brigades, 1 tank brigade and 18 machine gun and artillery division in the Kuriles (fortified, but tank units there are also in it, where without them), that is, approximately 600 tanks. In addition, in the Pacific Fleet, as part of the 155th Marine Brigade, there are no tanks yet, but they will be soon, a company is now deployed in the 40th Marine Brigade, but it will be reorganized into a battalion, we will also count it.

In Southern military district Now in the 58 OA there are 42 guards. msd, 19 and 136 omsbr, 4 guards military base in South Ossetia. The 42 Evpatoria Division is now fully deployed, but according to researchers from the United States, there is no tank regiment in it or it is being deployed. In total, 340 (350) vehicles are obtained. In 49 OA there are as many as 2 combined-arms brigades, 205 and 34 mountain brigades, in which there are no tanks. Much more interesting is the newly formed 8th Guards. The OA, formed with the clear aim of forcing various broad Cossacks from the territory adjacent to the republics of Donbass to peace, who love to talk about how they "restrain Russian fascism", not forgetting, of course, shouting Nazi slogans and "greeting the Sun" with a characteristic gesture. It has the 150th Idritsko-Berlin Motor Rifle Division, which includes 2 tank and 2 motorized rifle regiments, formed according to, as they say, difficult states.

That is, there are much more tanks and artillery in it, not only the usual msd, but even than in td. If we assume (and this is most likely the case) that the states of this division repeat the OShS of the so-called "Ogarkov" heavy motorized rifle divisions, successfully dispersed under Gorbachev, then the tanks there as a result, upon completion of the formation, may be under 400. In those divisions, the battalions had 4 companies each (in the SSB 3 MSR and 1 tr, in the TB vice versa), and all the tank companies were 13 tank companies, and the battalions even in the tank regiments had 40 tanks each. Moreover, at the battalion level there were 122-mm self-propelled guns 2S1 and a lot of other useful things, and in the regiments 152mm 2S3 served as artillery, which in ordinary divisions were in the artillery regiment. Also included in the same army is the 20th Guards. omsbr from Volgograd (if the Americans are not mistaken). In the Crimean 22 AK, there is only one combined-arms brigade with tanks - at number 126 from Perevalnoye, called the brigade coastal defense, but in fact it is motorized rifle, just naval, like everything in the Crimea, subordination. This is another 41 (42 tanks). In total, 860-876 tanks come out in the Southern Military District, if all units are completed, and estimates for 150 divisions more or less coincide with reality.

In total, in all districts, 3475-3530 vehicles are in service. In reality, there are fewer of them, not all connections are completed, on the other hand, training centers and military schools, where there are still more than one hundred tanks not counted, like many other things. And, of course, tanks at storage and repair bases are not taken into account military equipment(BKhIRVT), that is, the bases for the formation of regiments and brigades of the first stage of mobilization (everything else is already formed on the basis of equipment from the central bases of the reserve). These BHiRVT are now being reorganized into the so-called TsOMRs (centers for providing micro-deployment), in fact, this is the same base, but with training and other bases to ensure the activities of reservists of the permanent reserve, which was recently officially legalized, and this is a very good and long overdue decision.

The Soviet armed forces never throw anything away, by 1980 had 20,000 tanks in storage to feed to the mobilized divisions. These tanks were in addition to the 26,000 tanks now deployed in Europe by the Warsaw Pact. Tha total inventory of Warsaw Pact medium or main battle tanks oriented to the NATO area represents almost a three-to-one superiority over NATO. By 1980, the Warsaw Pact inventory facing NATO includes about 40,000 active medium tanks and an additional number in storage. The total national inventories for NATO, including the United States, comprises 15,800 active medium tanks and some more in storage. These aggregates, of course, do not address availability times or utilitarian factors.

As of 2017, the tank forces of the Ground Troops of the Russian Armed Forces had 3,030 tanks on duty and 10,200 tanks in storage, as well as 250 tanks serving as part of the Coastal Forces of the Russian Navy. Russia thus outnumbered the tank forces of the United States, whose tank fleet totals 2,831 M1 Abrams tanks in service and 3500 - in storage. By 2022 Russia had 2,750 active tanks and 10,000 further tanks in storage. Russia had 2,800 T-55, 2,500 T-62, and 2,000 T-64 obsolete, non-operational tanks in storage.

There are a total of 9 "Weapons and Equipment Storage Bases", 7 of which are in the Far East. They are to be mobilized into motor rifle brigades with reserve personnel in 3-6 months. their tanks (350-ish) would be deployed to the front if badly needed. This will significantly hinder Ru's defence in its Asian part, and it will take 2-3 months to de-mothball and move these tanks. The rest of the "10,000 tanks army" lies in the "Central Armored Tank Storage Bases", where vintage tanks are mothballed in huge amounts. These tanks, like this T-62AM from the 1295th CATSB, basically have no chance of survival in modern warfare.

By mid-April 2022 a 6th (or more) of overall Russian tank strength had been depleted already. Russia appeared to have 6,000 tanks in storage, of which 3,000 are servicable. Accepting 2,500 as the book strength of Russia's active tank force, then their operational numbes are likely closer to 1,500-1,700. Normally, by one estimate it is considered that 25-30% of vehicles as being inactive for different maintenance purposes or because the unit is waiting for new vehicles. In Russia, this is likely higher given the obvious logistical and maintenance issues that the Russian army is exhibiting in the field. Now, this may be because Russia is using vehicles that should still be in the maintenance bays. However, the cavalier attitude towards logistics and maintenance likely means that Russia is closer to a 30-40% of vehicles that are either inoperative or ineffective due to maintenance problems.

Russia still needed to have these tanks manned by competent crews. A country can have a lot of tanks, but if it doesn't have enough crews to man it in short notice, the number of tanks you have in storage won't matter much. Not only that, crews are actually a small part of the manpower requirement to operate a tank, each tank needs support, which required dozens of crews. The support crews are needed to keep the crews fed, the tanks armed and fueled, and if the tank is stuck or damaged - repaired, and if the tank can't be repaired in the field, ehe unit must have a recovery vehicle to tow it away to be repaired in a better equipped facility, and those have to be supported as well. If the crews are injured, they must be extracted and lifted away to relative safety. In a high-intensity conflict, a tank can ran out of fuel and ammunitions in a matter of hours, not days, but hours. Keeping tank crews alive is important because active service tanks are usually manned by experienced crew, losing them means less experienced ones will have to takeover, and they're more likely to suffer losses.

Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov stated 30 July 2018 that now there is no need to equip the Armed Forces of Russia with a large number of such equipment as Armata or Bumerang, since the latest versions of the T-72 tanks are highly efficient. "Why" flood "with" Armats "or" Boomerangs "all the Armed Forces? We have a tank T-72 is in great demand in the market, it takes everything. Compared with the "Abrams", "Leclercs" and "Leopards" in terms of price, efficiency and quality, it significantly exceeds them," Borisov told reporters.

"Armata and Boomerang are quite expensive models in relation to existing ones. These models are the prospect of armored vehicles," Borisov said. "If the existing equipment, in particular, the upgraded T-72, BMP-4 or BTR-82 tanks were inferior in terms of their capabilities to the likely enemy, we would now be forcing and buying new models," the Deputy Prime Minister said. He added that Russia manages, having a budget of 10 times less than NATO countries, to accomplish the tasks "at the expense of such effective solutions, when we look at the modernization potential of old models."

A prototype of the T-14 Armata tank was unveiled publicly at a military parade in Moscow in 2015. Russian officials said at the time of the presentation that 2,300 of the vehicles would be in use in Russia's armed forces in 2020. They said the first battle-ready units should be sent to the 1st Guards Tank Regiment, which is part of the 2nd Guards of the Motorized Taman Division based in the Moscow region.

The Soviet Ground Forces viewed the tank as their primary weapon. In 1989 the Tank Troops had five types of main battle tanks, including the T-54/55, T-62, T-64, T-72, and T-80. The greater part of the total tank inventory of 53,000 consisted of older, although still highly potent, T-54/55 and T-62 tanks.

The technical progress in the art of war made in the early part of the 20th century brought about new kind of combat systems - battle tanks. These fighting vehicles embodied the firepower of artillery, armor protection against enemy's fire, and high mobility during cross-country movement. The combination of all these capabilities made it possible to plan and carry out military operations on a qualitatively new level, and, hence, caused rapid rise in the quantity and quality of tank fleets.

The outcome of the world wars and local conflicts became directly depended on wide use of tank troops - the main striking force of land armies. Nowadays the battle tank is one of the most complex machines. Its design ensures its reliability and operability under extreme conditions, under the influence of climatic, operational and combat factors. This is achieved by strenuous efforts of designers, researchers and manufacturers.

A Tank is a heavily armored vehicle (up to the equivalent of 1,000 mm of armor), mounting a large caliber cannon (90mm or above) in a large, fully enclosed, heavily armored turret. It must have tracks. It has excellent cross-country mobility, armor protection, firepower, and the capability of producing a shock effect on the enemy. A tank is an offensive weapon designed to fire and maneuver and assault through an objective. Remember, all tanks are armored vehicles, but not all armored vehicles are tanks.

Germany is good tank country. Germany is good tank country. The North German Plains is characterized as being relatively flat and open terrain. Rivers and valleys do not canalize cross-country movement as is the situation further south. Such conditions as are present make the area ideally suited to armor operations and provide Warsaw Pact forces with the best terrain to conduct high-speed offensives across Western Europe to the major port facilities along the coast. The meeting engagement is the form of the offensive which best supports the high-speed attack.

The specter of thousands of Soviet tanks rolling westward across the north German plain no longer haunts the United States. During the Cold War, however, it was possible, with perhaps only slight exaggeration, to fear a Soviet breakthrough along the inter-German border. Tens of thousands of Soviet tanks could be envisioned racing West to the Channel and in the process capturing the heart of European industrial capacity. NATO was an alliance that was meant to contain the Soviet Union, to face off against the Warsaw Pact, to face off at a moment's notice against vast swarms Soviet tanks rolling through the Fulda Gap in Division strength.

The "Fulda Gap Syndrome" was the tendency among military planners during the Cold War to build future war scenarios entirely on the assumption that the next war would occur on the European plain, with the Soviet Union launching its primary attack through the Fulda Gap on the former East German border. The Russian 8th Guards Army was on one side of the line, and the Americans on the other side of the line believed that if they won at the Fulda Gap, western Europe and North America would be safe. Soviet tanks will never roll through the Fulda Gap.

The Commander-in-Chief of Land Forces has as one of his subordinates the Commander of Tank Forces. But in Soviet times tens of thousands of tanks were spread throughout the world, from Cuba to Sakhalin. Every Russian reconnaissance battalion has a tank platoon, every motor-rifle regiment has a tank battalion, every motor-rifle division has a tank regiment, and every Soviet Army had a tank division, every Front had a Tank Army, and each Strategic Direction had a Group of Tank Armies. Decisions on the use of all these tanks in combat are taken by the combat commanders as the situation develops. The Commander of Tank Forces is in no position to play any part in the control of each tank unit, and any such intervention would be a violation of the principle of sole responsibility for the conduct and results of combat operations. The Commander of Tank Forces is forbidden to intervene in combat planning and in questions of the use of tanks in combat.

The responsibilities of the Commander of Tank Forces cover the development of new types of tank and their testing, the supervision of the quality of production of tank factories, ensuring that all tank detachments are supplied with the necessary spare parts and the training of specialists in the Tank Force Academies, in the Tank Higher Schools and in training divisions. He is also responsible for the technical condition of tanks in all the armed forces and acts as the inspector of all tank personnel.

Because ground weapons technology had advanced steadily since World War II, the Soviets replenished their huge tank force constantly with new tank models to keep it from becoming obsolescent. This requirement led to a major research and development program and the construction of an extensive production establishment that has supported a high annual tank production rate - an estimated average of about 3,000 vehicles a year for the last 10 years of the Cold War. This high rate of production enabled the Soviets to keep their tank force opposite NATO equipped largely with modern, highly capable vehicles.

The Soviet planning cycle worked in 5-year increments. The procedure is to tool up a factory and let it run until the tooling starts to wear out, which took 12 to 17 years. The replacement decision is usually at the end of the third 5-year plan after the one during which the factory started production. In some major systems such as tank production, the Soviets simply have three large plants and retool one during each 5-year plan.

Under this system, once a plant was retooled, it continued in uninterrupted production on the same item until its time in the planning sequence rolled around again. Toward the end of the life cycle, these plants turned out obsolete, but still serviceable, equipment that was used primarily for export to the Soviet Union's clients and allies, and maintain a supply and spare-parts base for Soviet units still equipped with the product. A plant at the lower end of its life cycle often had an attached facility to rebuild worn-out equipment.

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Page last modified: 02-05-2022 20:19:06 ZULU