“The Tank Crisis in Russia: Shortage of Optical Sensors and Metal Balls Stifles Weapon Manufacturing”

2023-04-23 06:49:01

A shortage of a small-sized tool, and another technological one, “suffocates” Russia’s ability to manufacture one of its most prominent weapons in the Ukrainian war, after depleting its lethal weapon during the military confrontations.

optical sensors

The shortage of modern optical sensors is stifling Russia’s ability to manufacture the new T-72BM3 and T-90M tanks, and to restore the old T-72, T-80 and T-90, to compensate for the thousands of tanks lost in its broader war on Ukraine.

Optical sensors allow shooters to quickly and accurately extend the ranges at which they can shoot. Optics, whether in pistols or tanks, eliminate the problem of trying to focus on three objects at different distances at the same time—the target, the front sight, and the rear sight.

Russia’s long-term tank industry plan is facing a real dilemma. A new T-72BM3 or T-90M requires modern optics, usually from France.

When Paris tightened its sanctions, it deprived the Russian industry of the optical components it needed.

Border balls

According to Forbes, optics isn’t the only thing “missing” in the Russian armored vehicle industry.

The Russians are sorely lacking the “ball metal” they used to get from the US and Europe before the West tightened its sanctions on the Russian industry.

A new study from the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington confirmed that modern tanks and armored vehicles need a lot of iron balls, and Russia does not have enough metal balls to maintain steady production of new vehicles.

A ball bearing or “ball bearing” is a rolling piece that serves three main functions in heavy vehicles:

  • carrying loads.
  • Reduce friction.
  • Connect the moving parts of the machine.

And according to Forbes, trains also depend on a lot of these balls, which are the main mode of transportation on which the Russian economy depends.

The Russians have a choice. Build more tanks and let the rail system collapse, or keep the trains moving and slow down the production of armored vehicles and tanks.

The Russians made the smart choice, according to Forbes, and decided to use the stock of ball bearings on the trains.

Tank crisis

Russia has struggled to manufacture the 2,000 or more tanks it lost during 14 months of grueling fighting in Ukraine. Today, Russian forces need at least 150 new or restored tanks per month to maintain their strength on the front line.

The Russians have gone back in time, revitalizing T-62 tanks from the 1960s and 1950s.

Older tanks require fewer modern components and fewer metal balls. Its aim is to slow down the Ukrainian army, but it will not succeed in direct confrontations, due to its age.

Russia’s only chance now is to speed up the manufacture of metal balls and optical sensors of much lower quality than it was counting on, in order to complete a sufficient number of tanks.

The result will be less weak Russian military performance, less capable and less robust weapons, but an opportunity to continue fighting.

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