According to very recent reports, the management team of the Russian defence company Uralvagonzavod has stated that it is currently working on resuming production of T-80 tanks from scratch.
These vehicles are intended to be produced on the infrastructure of the Omsktransmash plant, which in Soviet times was the main producer of T-80 tanks, but today has been effectively turned into a tank repair facility.
The company's general director, Alexander Potapov, stressed in separate statements that the company has undertaken the continuation of the production of T-80 tanks after an agreement with Russia's defence ministry.
According to Ukrainian speculation, the choice to continue production of T-80 tanks may be due to the fact that the Russian army's stocks of such vehicles have seen a huge decline in the recent period, especially compared to other types of main battle tanks.
A French research institute reports that before February 2022, the month when Moscow's army massively attacked Ukraine, the Russian forces had 7 thousand tanks in their stock. Of these, 624 were of the T-80 type.
Of these 624 units, 151 were in the T-80BV version and 170 in the T-80UD version.
According to the Ukrainian defence news site DefenseExpress now, in Russian media the T-80UD version is described as "problematic", since the diesel engines used for these tanks were manufactured in Kharkiv, Ukraine. After the Russian attack on the country it was difficult for the Russians to find enough parts to maintain the tanks and repair them.
Because of this, it seems the Russians were quick to release the T-80UDs from their stockpile and use them in the battlefield. But recent reports suggest that some such vehicles have already been sent back for repairs.
"This shows how close to total depletion Russia's stock of T-80 tanks is and why the Russians have decided to restart production from scratch for this type of tank," the Kiev article says.
However, what should worry the Ukrainian military are Russian reports suggesting that if Moscow restarts production of the vehicle, it will not be the familiar Soviet version, but a new improved version according to the Burlak programme.
The Burlak is an abandoned Moscow tank program, which is said to have been cancelled due to the advanced T-14 Armata program.
Not much information is known about the improvements, but reports describe that the changes to the tank will be primarily aimed at increasing the crew's chances of survival in the event of a hit.