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4 May, 2023 13:45

Russia boosts infantry vehicle production – Rostec (VIDEO)

The country has manufactured as many BMP-3s since the beginning of the year as it did in all of 2019, the defense corporation said

Russia has drastically ramped up the production of the BMP-3, its main armored infantry support vehicle, the state-run defense corporation Rostec said on Thursday. The news comes as Ukraine is preparing for the much-touted counteroffensive.

Rostec, which oversees defense production, said the Kurganmashzavod plant to the east of the Ural Mountains manufactured as many infantry fighting vehicles in the first quarter of 2023 as it did throughout the whole of 2019.

Described by Rostec as “the queen of infantry,” the BMP-3 was designed in the 1980s and has since become one of Russia’s main vehicles used to both transport soldiers and support them with firepower. The tracked vehicle can operate on difficult terrain and cross waterways. It is armed with a 30 mm gun and anti-armor rockets.

“The Kurganmashzavod is transferring infantry fighting vehicles practically every month, and the number of deliveries is growing,” Bekkhan Ozdoyev, Rostec’s director for weapons and ammunition, said in the statement. He explained that additional parts and metals were shipped to the plant in order to ensure an “uninterrupted production process.”

Ozdoyev also reported a boost in hiring, as nearly 1,200 new workers were brought in during the first few months of 2023, compared to over 1,000 in total last year.

President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to ramp up defense production last year after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine. In March, Putin declared that Moscow planned to produce or upgrade over 1,600 tanks, and that the country would have more than three times as many tanks available as Ukraine. Last month, Russian media outlets reported that the newest T-14 Armata tanks were being used in Ukraine for the first time.

The equipment deliveries take place as Kiev is gearing up a counteroffensive, whose success Ukrainian officials said would heavily depend on shipments of foreign arms, including main battle tanks and aircraft. Kirill Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, claimed it would be “a crucial battle.” However, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has urged everyone not to view the planned offensive as a decisive operation.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy head of the country’s Security Council, said Moscow should respond to the counteroffensive with the “massive destruction” of Ukraine’s troops and equipment.