Russia buys back arms parts sold to Asia

Russia buys back arms parts sold to Asia

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Russian state defense enterprises buy back components for military equipment and missile munitions exported to India and Myanmar.

This fact was revealed by the Nikkei analysis based on customs documentation.

Nikkei journalists analyzed data on customs clearance of supplies to Russia provided by the U.S. ImportGenius, Indian Exim Trade Data, and other sources while examining records on Russian imports of spare parts for armament, such as tanks and missiles.

Nikkei found records of Russia’s purchase of spare parts for tanks and missiles that were exported to Myanmar and India. Most likely, Russia will re-import components of its own production to restore military equipment, which will then be sent to war against Ukraine.

Missile munitions

In August and November 2022, the Russian missile manufacturer KB Mashinostroyeniya (Machine-Building Design Bureau, Kolomna – ed.), purchased six components from the Indian Ministry of Defense for surface-to-air missile guidance systems worth $150 thousand.

All parts were manufactured by the same Bureau, which exported the same type of parts to India in February 2013.

Russia could re-import parts for repair, but as of the end of March 2023, there were no records of sending items back to India.

Tank spare parts

The Russian defense giant Uralvagonzavod, which manufactures tanks for the Russian army, also imported $24 million worth of military products from Myanmar on December 9, 2022. The components were declared to have been manufactured by Uralvagonzavod.

Harmonized system (HS) codes for reimported goods indicated that the company bought 6,775 sighting telescopes and 200 cameras for installation in tanks.

Those are “probably optical devices to measure distance to targets and zero in on them,” said Nobuyuki Akatani, a retired senior officer from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force who was involved in developing tanks.

In the customs clearance data, there was a link “imported under reclamation act,” which means the products were returned, allegedly, due to detected defects. However, there is considerable doubt about the Myanmar government’s response. After all, the goods were imported in 2019, and the problem was noticed four years after the completion of deliveries and precisely in the midst of a shortage of tank parts in the Russian Federation.

Myanmar is armed with 50 Т-72S tanks. This is an export version of the Soviet Т-72B mod. 1984 tank. Today, the optical devices of these vehicles are considered obsolete; their reverse import and potential shortage in the Russian Federation may indicate an increasing deep crisis, even with the overhaul of tanks to the Soviet level.

At the beginning of 2023, Militarnyi reported that Russia was experiencing problems with the restoration of tanks from old Soviet stocks due to a shortage of components and equipment.

Due to limited production capacity and sanctions pressure, Russia cannot produce enough components for the restoration and modernization of tanks. This led to the emergence of so-called ersatz-modernized Т-80 and Т-72 Soviet tanks on the frontline.

New tanks instead of scarce Sosna-U tank gunner’s sight received much more primitive analogues. Russian armored vehicles also have problems with the complete set of modern means of communication. You can read more about this in this article.

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