Before the war, one senior Western defense official said, Russia could make 100 tanks a year; now they are producing 200, an analysis article published by The New York Times reads, APA reports.
The article notes that Russia has managed to overcome sanctions and export controls imposed by the West to expand its missile production beyond prewar levels.
According to the article, Russia subverted American export controls using its intelligence services and ministry of defense to run illicit networks of people who smuggle key components by exporting them to other countries from which they can be shipped to Russia more easily.
In less than a year since the war began, Russia rebuilt trade in critical components by routing them through countries like Armenia and Türkiye, article adds.
Although the West has provided air defenses systems, Ukraine does not have enough air defense systems to cover the entire country, and must pick the sites it defends. An increased barrage of missiles could overwhelm the country’s air defenses, Ukrainian officials said.
Western officials also believe Russia is on track to manufacture two million artillery shells a year — double the amount Western intelligence services had initially estimated Russia could manufacture before the war.
As a result of the push, Russia is now producing more ammunition than the United States and Europe, article emphasizes. Overall, Kusti Salm, a senior Estonian defense ministry official, estimated that Russia’s current ammunition production is seven times greater than that of the West.One of the challenges for the U.S. government is that Russia does not need higher-end chips that are easier to track, but commoditized chips that can be used in a wide range of things, not just guided missiles.
Russia’s production costs are also far lower than the West’s, the article noted, in part because Moscow is sacrificing safety and quality in its effort to build weapons more cheaply, Mr. Salm said. For instance, it costs a Western country $5,000 to $6,000 to make a 155-millimeter artillery round, whereas it costs Russia about $600 to produce a comparable 152-millimeter artillery shell, he said.
Still, Russia faces some shortcomings. It does not have huge inventories of missiles, it was stressed.
“Ukrainians have become better in defending their infrastructure and building defenses around their power stations and critical power grids,” Mr. Salm said.