Crisis phenomena that hit the Russian army, of course, did not bypass the domestic tank troops. The nineties of the last century became the blackest page in their stories, the rapid withdrawal from Eastern Europe and Mongolia led to the fact that thousands of cutting-edge at the time combat vehicles, in fact, were thrown into the mud, with corresponding consequences for technology. As a result, expensive equipment was brought to the state of scrap metal. No less significant damage was inflicted on personnel, a large number of promising officers were forced to leave the army.
All this affected during the operation to restore the constitutional order in Chechnya. Hastily assembled "from pine forest" parts, sometimes on faulty equipment, of course, began to incur losses.
However, what happened in Chechnya did not stop the further degradation of the Russian armored forces. The quality of combat training left much to be desired, the purchase of new equipment was completely stopped, and the development of a new one was kept only on the enthusiasm of engineers and designers and individual military leaders. Enterprises that produced armored vehicles either became bankrupt or reoriented for export.
Our tankers met our new century while fighting in Chechnya. Fortunately, the sad experience of the first war was taken into account, and in this campaign tank losses were significantly lower. In 2000, the year it was first announced that a new generation tank was created in Russia, known as the 195 Object or the T-95. It was expected that he would begin to arrive in the army in the middle of the decade.
The changed conjuncture of the world market brought the golden rain of petrodollars to the country. However, the first half dozen modernized T-90А were purchased only in 2004 year. The following year, again, only 17 machines were purchased. And only with 2006, the procurement began to be carried out in more acceptable quantities. In addition, a “very budgetary” modernization of the T-72BA tank was carried out.
As for the supertank T-95, its purchases were all postponed and postponed.
In the adopted rearmament program, she wrote in detail how many tanks should be modernized and how many new machines should be manufactured. True, the military itself was puzzled, what is necessary to produce - T-90A or T-95.
As a result, the last two Chechen wars T-72B and nicknamed the museum T-62 were thrown into the operation to force Georgia to the world to save our peacekeepers and residents of Tskhinval. But the presence of the old technology did not save the Georgian army from defeat.
In order to cool Saakashvili’s warlike fervor, Russian units in the south finally began to receive modern T-90A. And in Russia began another military reform. As a result, the Russian tank troops were relegated to the level of tank battalions and a few tank brigades.
Reformers refused to purchase T-90A, the development of the Burlak combat module was discontinued, there was a complete rejection of the promising tank Object 195. It was planned that until 2015, there would be no tank purchases at all. The military department frankly began to unravel domestic tanks, which only the accusations did not sound, it was just a shame to re-play them again. And all this against the backdrop of the commencement of purchases of Italian armored vehicles, which have received the designation “Lynx”, tests of “Centaur” wheeled tanks. Fortunately, all the same, the development of a new promising Armata platform began, and, after intervention at the highest level, the Ministry of Defense began to acquire modernized T-72B3.
2013 year became, in fact, a milestone in the life of the Russian tank forces, after the sudden checks, it became clear that many reformist initiatives did not affect the quality of combat training. Therefore, it was decided to dramatically increase the rate of allocated ammunition. Much has been done to increase the prestige of the tank forces. "Tank biathlon" who just did not swear, but thanks to these competitions, many Russians for the first time in many years remembered that, it turns out, we still have tank troops. So much in a positive way about tanks and tank crews talked for the first time in the last 20 years. Recreated Kantemirovskaya division. At the present time, whole tank units are rearming on modernized combat vehicles. Made the first samples of the new family of cars "Armata".
But, unfortunately, while we can only talk about positive dynamics, the old T-72B and T-80BV are still the basis of domestic tank forces, and there is still a lot to be done to make the troops truly modern. And this can again prevent the crisis in the economy.
And, nevertheless, on the eve of the professional holiday of tankers, I would like to hope only for good, to congratulate the servicemen of the tank forces, veterans, workers of the defense industry and wish them to see new tanks in the Russian landfills in the near future.