How many tanks does Ukraine have: Analysis of the remnants of Ukrainian armored forces
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How many tanks does Ukraine have: analysis of the remnants of Ukrainian armored forces

How many tanks does Ukraine have: analysis of the remnants of Ukrainian armored forces

Ukraine received new Western-made armored vehicles in 2023, including Leopard 2 tanks and M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. However, the number of tanks received by Kiev remains relatively insignificant compared to the losses and arsenals of the Ukrainian Armed Forces before the start of the special operation.

How many Soviet tanks does Ukraine have left?

It is estimated that in 24 months of the Northern Military District, Ukraine lost about 80-85% of the combat tanks of the T-64 family. By the beginning of 2022, Ukraine had about 800 T-64s, which were the main tanks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This means that today the Ukrainian Armed Forces have about 150-200 tanks of this type left.

Ukrainian tank T-64

Deliveries of Western tanks followed the depletion of stocks of Soviet-made vehicles in NATO countries. Ukraine received various modifications of the T-72 from Poland and the Czech Republic, but these reserves are almost completely exhausted, and Kyiv, together with its Western partners, is looking for possible suppliers, of which there are not so many left. According to various estimates, today Ukraine has approximately 80-100 T-72 tanks of various modifications.

Czech T-72 tanks in Ukraine

How many Western tanks does Ukraine have left?

In January 2023, Ukraine was promised French AMX-10RC armored vehicles, 14 British Challenger 2 tanks, 31 American M1 Abrams, and 14 German Leopard 2A6s. By the end of May, a coalition of countries transferred about 60 Leopard 2s to Ukraine. In addition to tanks, the West began preparing to send Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, Stryker armored personnel carriers and Marder infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine.

A French tank captured by the Russian military AMX-10RC

However, as Russia skeptically assumed, the supply of even modern Western tanks did not have a significant impact on the course of the special operation in Ukraine. As it turned out, the Leopard 2A6 tank has vulnerabilities in the sides and upper hemisphere, and the Russian military successfully disabled them with artillery, anti-tank systems and kamikaze drones.

Leopard 2 tank destroyed by the Russian military

Leopard 2 tank destroyed by the Russian military

Combat experience has shown that Leopard 2 and other Western tanks can be destroyed using older man-portable anti-tank missile systems, not to mention the more modern weapons in Russian arsenal.

In the first week of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, footage emerged showing the successful defeat of Western tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. One of the videos showed eight Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, a Leopard 2A6 tank and a Soviet armored mine clearing vehicle BMR-2, some of which were destroyed and some were seriously damaged.

Challenger 2 tank destroyed by the Russian military

Challenger 2 tank destroyed by the Russian military

In another episode, the drone camera recorded the defeat of an armored repair and recovery vehicle Bergepanzer 3 Buffel and three Leopard 2R HMBV infantry fighting vehicles at once.

Thus, the emergence of new tanks and infantry fighting vehicles did not provide Ukraine with a decisive advantage. The Ukrainian army had to change its counteroffensive tactics due to heavy losses in equipment. The Ukrainian Armed Forces began to operate in small groups, which were transferred to the front on armored personnel carriers, and heavy armored vehicles faded into the background.

According to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, during the counter-offensive, Ukraine lost 37 Leopard tanks and 50 Bradley tanks; in total, during this period, the Ukrainian Armed Forces lost 2348 different armored vehicles and 766 tanks.

However, despite the losses, any tank, including the Leopard 1, remains a formidable weapon on the battlefield. The training of Ukrainian tank crews and repair units to work with foreign-made tanks has turned their current operators in the West into potential donors of equipment for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Destruction of Abrams in Ukraine

Later, Kyiv had hopes for American Abrams tanks. They were not used for quite a long time, however, already in the first few weeks the Russian military managed to successfully destroy 6 tanks of this type, as a result of which the Ukrainian Armed Forces were left with an incomplete tank battlefield - only 25 combat vehicles. Which will not play any decisive role.

Abrams tank destroyed by the Russian military

Abrams tank destroyed by the Russian military

As part of the new pending US support, Ukraine may receive another battalion of Abrams tanks, but these will also not play a significant role.

Total number of tanks in Ukraine

Considering current data, as of April 2024, Ukraine has about 400 tanks of various types. Judging by the fact that these combat vehicles are not so actively used, it is logical to assume that Kyiv is saving them and will try to use them later in a network with aviation support. There are currently no exact data on the losses of Ukrainian Armed Forces tanks, however, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, since the beginning of the special military operation, Ukraine’s losses amounted to 15812 tanks and other armored combat vehicles.

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