Procurement: Russian Resources Diminished in Ukraine


March 2, 2024: By early 2024 Russian losses in Ukraine during the last two years had reached unsustainable levels. Russia currently has about 470,000 troops in Ukraine, but efforts inside Russia to recruit more men to fight in Ukraine are unable to obtain enough new recruits to replace all the losses. Russia estimates that current loss rates in Ukraine will, by 2025, produce a significant reduction in Russian forces available for operations in Ukraine.

Russian weapons production is suffering another form of attrition, the Western economic sanctions have blocked supplies of essential electronic and other imported components needed to build more weapons. Some of the sanctioned items can be smuggled in from other sources, but this is expensive, and supplies of key components are erratic. Russian military leaders were not aware of this situation until their boss Vladimir Putin demanded increased production of weapons. That can be done through most of 2024 but the shortages of components and cash will become a problem by 2025.

This means Russian defense industries won’t be able to deliver the desired number of tanks, artillery, and associated munitions in 2024. Production of new warplanes is particularly hard hit. Russia has lost over 300 warplanes in the last two years and these cost up to $50 million each to replace. The problem is that sanctions prevent key components for commercial and military aircraft from getting to Russia. During the Cold War the Soviet Union manufactured all the second rate components it needed to build second rate commercial and military aircraft. After the Cold War ended many of the Russian aircraft component manufacturers went out of business. Those that survived imported key components from the West. Russia discovered that Western nations often had to import components from other Western nations to produce commercial and military aircraft. The invasion of Ukraine meant no more Western components except for the few that could be smuggled in at great expense.

Russian and American aircraft builders are the main suppliers of commercial and military aircraft to the world. The American Boeing firm is the largest aircraft manufacturer but there are five others: Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and Raytheon Technologies.




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