Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Russia’s Huge Tank Force
During the Cold War, the number of different tank types the Soviet Union maintained often puzzled Western analysts. Eight distinct families of tanks were operated, supported, and modernized simultaneously — the PT-76, T-10, T-54, T-55, T-62, T-64, T-72 and T-80. The end of the Soviet Union appeared to signal the demise of the philosophy of multiple tank lines.
Following the debacle that was the T-80 in Grozny, the T-90 and T-72 were the only tanks that appeared to be receiving significant attention from the military — T-80Us and T-80UEs were only refit and modernized in small numbers. This appeared to be a cost saving measure, as both are produced and supported at the Uralvagonzavod tank plant.