Iraq is buying Russian T-90 main battle tanks 82407171

Defense & Security News - Iraq
Iraq is buying Russian T-90 Main Battle Tank
The Iraqi Armed Forces will acquire the Russian T-90 main battle tanks, which have proven themselves in combat operations in Syria. The fact of signing a contract between Russia and Iraq was confirmed to Izvestia by Vladimir Kozhin, Russian presidential aide on military technical cooperation. According to experts, the contract is estimated at $1 billion, while the number of tanks - at several hundred.
"It’s a good enough contract for a large batch. I cannot name the specific value, but the number of tanks is large," Kozhin told Izvestia.

Earlier, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense reported on the purchase of the T-90 MBTs - it was about the supply of more than 70 tanks. Moreover, according to Izvestia, this is only the first batch to be followed by others. However, the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, which was asked by Izvestia for comments, declined to disclose details of the deal.

At the same time, experts say that contracts with Iraq have always assumed a large volume of supplied products with high added value since Soviet times.

"In this case, one can talk about the delivery of several hundred vehicles, and the value of the contract may exceed $1 billion. This order is a great help to Uralvagonzavod. In addition, this contract is Russia’s major foreign-policy success, because the Americans fought in Iraq, while the Iraqi military have eventually chosen the Russian tank," said Ruslan Pukhov, director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, in a conversation with Izvestia.

According to the expert, after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi military decided to abandon the acquisition of Soviet- and Iraqi-built tanks. The T-90 attracted their attention after the outbreak of hostilities in Syria and Iraq, where the terrorists successfully destroyed the Turkish Leopards (used during Operation Euphrates Shield) and the American Abrams that are in service with the Iraqi army. The Russian-made combat vehicles have proven effective during the Syrian conflict, the expert said. In particular, the Syrian government troops used the T-90s mod. 1992 and there were cases when these tanks survived several hits in a row.
In early July, during a meeting of the commission on military-technical cooperation between the Russian Federation and foreign countries, President Vladimir Putin said that the successful experience of using Russian weapons in Syria helped our country build up military exports. Now the Iraqi army will have both American and Russian tanks. According to Pukhov, this was a conscious step allowing Iraq not to become dependent on one foreign supplier.

The T-90 is Russia’s most advanced production tank. The vehicle combines high mobility, firepower and relatively small overall dimensions and weight. The tank is in service with the Russian, Syrian, Algerian, Azerbaijani and Indian armies. In India, the T-90 is in production under license. Negotiations are underway with Vietnam on the supply of the tank. Vladimir Kozhin told Izvestia that there was also a "big request" for T-90s from Kuwait, but the dialogue on this contract was still ongoing, the newspaper Izvestia reports.

The T-90 main battle tank has been in service with the Russian army since 1992. The tank was developed as a major upgrade to the T-72B. The vehicle is armed with a 125-mm 2A46M or 2A46M-5 gun/launcher, which can fire both standard tank ammunition and anti-tank guided missiles. In addition, the T-90 is equipped with 12.7-mm anti-aircraft and 7.62-mm coaxial machine guns. The maximum speed along the highway is 60 km/h, the fuel range is 550 km. The tank is equipped with an automatic target tracking system and modern fire control systems. It was exported to Azerbaijan, Algeria, India, Turkmenistan and Uganda.
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