IISS says a year of war has destroyed half of Russia’s best tanks

IISS says a year of war has destroyed half of Russia’s best tanks

Russia’s military modernisation was stopped in its tracks by the launch of the war in Ukraine last February, according to the International Institute of Strategic Studies, which estimates that half of the country’s most modern tanks have been destroyed.

“The composition of its armoured vehicle fleet has changed, with around 50 per cent of its pre-war fleet of T-72B3 and T-72B3M tanks, and many of its T-80s, assessed to have been lost,” the latest military balance report concluded. “As a result, Russia has had to bring older equipment into service as replacements.”

The defence and security specialists at IISS said that Russia was suffering from a lack of overwhelming power in the skies. “Russia’s failure to gain air superiority has meant its forces have had to engage targets in Ukraine from long range, with extensive use made of cruise missiles and other weapons. Air forces on both sides have suffered losses,” it said.

“Russia in 2022 lost about 6 per cent to 8 per cent of its active tactical combat aircraft inventory, but overall fleet size somewhat masks the loss to some individual types, including reductions reaching 10 per cent to 15 per cent for some pre-war active multirole and ground-attack aircraft fleets, such as the Su-30SM Flanker H, Su-24M/M2 Fencer D, Su-25 SM/SM3 Frogfoot and Su-34 Fullback.”

On the other side of the battle lines, Ukraine too suffered airpower losses and faced a new threat from drones supplied to the Kremlin from Iran.

“Ukraine had fewer combat aircraft before the war and losses have been proportionally higher; we assess it has lost around half of its pre-war active tactical combat aircraft inventory,” it said. “In late 2022, Russia turned to Iran for the supply of armed UAVs and direct-attack munitions. In turn this opens the possibility that Iran’s air force may begin to modernise with Russian-origin equipment.”

In an assessment of Russia’s reforms to its armed forces after 2008, IISS last year highlighted the role of new equipment types and modernised platforms such as the T-72B3M in raising combat effectiveness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Would you like to receive notifications on latest updates? No Yes