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Russian defense industry remains unable to equip new reserves of Russian army with modern technology

Russian defense industry remains unable to equip new reserves of Russian army with modern technology The Russian defense industry will be unable to equip the new reserves of the Russian Armed Forces with modern technology (photo: Getty Images)

The Russian defense industry is likely unable to fully equip the new reserves with technology and weaponry, despite the Russian military's ability to sustain current operational tempo and efforts to expand Russia's defense capabilities, according to a report from the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

ISW analysts note that the Russian command is prone to mistakenly viewing the reserve component as an inexhaustible resource. It is reported that the Russian industry can produce approximately 250-300 new and thoroughly modernized tanks annually.

Additionally, Russian plants can refurbish and put into operation no more than 250-300 tanks after extended storage or damage in combat. It is emphasized that even considering the higher estimates, the Russian defense industry is unlikely to be able to provide extensive mobilization of manpower with equipment. It will probably have to rapidly increase its capabilities to support larger offensive operations, which will require a significant amount of time.

However, ISW experts continue to believe that Russia will be able to expand its technical base and accumulate resources if it maintains the initiative across the entire theater of military operations throughout 2024, although unlikely to the extent of providing large masses of mobilized reserves or conscripts.

Key findings by ISW:

  • Data on the concentration of Russian reserves across the entire territory of Ukraine largely align with Russia's anticipated priorities on the front, although they do not necessarily indicate future Russian operations.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the front line near Robotyne in the Zaporizhzhia region on February 4.
  • Russian milbloggers continued to criticize Russian authorities’ failure to properly equip Russian forces with drones and electronic warfare (EW) systems in response to a recent unsuccessful Russian mechanized assault near Novomykhailivka, Donetsk region.
  • Russian forces made confirmed advances near Bakhmut, Avdiivka, and Maryinka amid continued positional engagements along the entire frontline.