Russian Tank Losses Spike in Ukraine But Production Reaches 100 Monthly According to British Intel

According to the latest data released by the British Army Intelligence Services on January 29, 2024, the Russian army has experienced substantial losses in its armored vehicle fleet since the onset of the Ukraine War on February 24, 2022. Reports indicate a loss of approximately 2,600 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) and 4,900 other armored combat vehicles, including Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs), Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), and artillery systems, up to January 25, 2024. 
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A Russian T-72B3 MBT Main Battle Tank, was destroyed in Mariupol, a city in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. (Picture source: Wikimedia)

Despite the heavy losses, the Russian military's capacity to produce at least 100 MBTs per month suggests it can sustain its current level of offensive operations in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

In a detailed assessment, the British Army Intelligence Services revealed that the Russian army lost about 40% fewer combat vehicles in 2023 compared to the previous year. This decrease is attributed to the evolving nature of the conflict, which became increasingly positional in 2023, and Russia's significant shift to a defensive posture for much of the year.

Before the conflict, the Russian army boasted a diverse and sizeable MBT fleet, estimated at around 12,000 tanks. This included various models such as 650 T-72B/BA, 850 T-72B3, 530 T-72B3M, 310 T-80BV/U, 170 T-80BVM, 350 T-90A, 67 T-90M, and thousands of older T-72 and T-80 models, with a reserve of 200 T-90 tanks.

However, since early October 2023, the Russian army has ramped up its offensive in eastern Ukraine. This period has seen a spike in Russian armored vehicle losses, with up to 365 MBTs and 700 other armored vehicles, including IFVs and APCs, being destroyed or incapacitated. Despite these losses, the territorial gains achieved by Russia during this offensive have been described as minor.

In response to these battlefield losses, Uralvagonzavod, Russia's primary tank manufacturer, has reportedly increased its production of combat vehicles, including the T-90M Proryv and T-72B3M tanks. In 2023, the production rate was several times higher than in the previous year, meeting all state defense orders and even initiating the 2024 contracts ahead of schedule. The company emphasized that the design and features of these armored vehicles are continuously being refined, taking into account frontline experiences and feedback from tank operators in the Northern Military District.

This development underscores the ongoing intensity of the conflict and the significant resources both sides continue to commit to the war.

Defense News January 2024