Coming Soon to Russia’s Army: 6,000 More Tanks

    Dave Majumdar

    Security, Europe

    How is that even possible? We have the details. 

    Another possibility is that these surplus vehicles might be used to supply client states with low-cost combat vehicles. There are plenty of Russian client states that cannot afford brand new frontline hardware like the T-90SM. “It also makes sense as a cheap way to arm a proxy force or poorer allies like Syria,” Kofman said. Whatever the case, the Russian forces will have 6,000 more tanks available to it in the coming years. The question is what will the Russians do with these additional vehicles.

    Russia is sharply curtailing the number of Soviet-era tanks that is planning to scrap. In previous years, Moscow had planned to send some 10,000 of its older model tanks to the junk yard for disposal, now that figure could be reduced to as few as 4,000.

    “Initially, when the program was drafted, it was planned that about 10,000 Soviet-made armored fighting vehicles (AFVs) stored in warehouses…will be scrapped,” Lt. Gen. Alexander Shevchenko, chief of the main armored directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry, told the TASS news agency.

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    “At present, the number of armored fighting vehicles to be scrapped in line with the program until 2020 stands at about 4,000 such vehicles.”

    Shevchenko cited changes in in the security environment for the move. Instead of being scrapped, the older vehicles will now be upgraded.

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