20 new tanks a month: Why increasing employee numbers does not help Russia to produce more? – Technology Org

Having more employees doesn’t really help produce more tanks out of nothing, while the demand exceeds production by a factor of ten.

According to a recent publication on Business Insider, Uralvagonzavod – the main Russian enterprise responsible for the production of armored vehicles – now has as many as 30 thousand employees, based on data from the end of February 2023. The number of workers has been repeatedly increased several times, while also extending the shift durations. The same trend is being pursued by other industrial military companies.

Production of tanks at Uralvagonzavod.

Production of tanks at Uralvagonzavod. Illustrative image from open sources via Defense Express

These attempts, however, are not really productive. According to the same source, the Russian military industry cannot overcome the production barrier of 20 new tanks per month. The main reason is related to the strict imposed economic sanctions and subsequent shortage of electronic components.

Of course, some electronic parts still find their way to the Russian Federation through suppliers who use different schemes to overcome existing trade bans and limitations. But this flow of material resources is not enough to establish large-scale manufacturing operations. Meanwhile, modern tanks cannot really function without advanced digital control systems.

Is 20 tanks a large number? According to different sources, 150 Russian tanks are being destroyed in Ukraine every month.

That is why Russia is also actively striving to speed up the restoration of old tanks, to compensate for a ‘mismatch’ of produced and eliminated armored vehicles. According to recent media reports, even such old models as the T-54 and T-55 are being brought back from long-term storage with the aim to replace units lost to the Ukrainian defenders.

Approximate assessments say that the rate of restored tanks could be somewhere around 70 units per month, although the actual technical level is debatable. There are not many chances that these machines receive any kind of substantial upgrade, and the reason for this is also tightly related to trade penalties.

It should be noted that in recent months Moscow has managed to increase the deliveries of electronic components that can be used to produce new weapons. According to The Telegraph, these purchases are being covered under common household items, such as car parts, washing machines, or digital cameras. These products are later disassembled into individual components and re-used for military purposes.

For this reason, the European Commission is already working on creating a new round of sanctions aimed at restricting the activities of companies that help the Russian Federation to obtain electronic components that can be used to manufacture weapons and use them against Ukraine.

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