Thursday, July 20, 2017
Moscow and Baghdad have struck a major deal to deliver “a large batch” of advanced Russian-made T-90 tanks to the Iraqi military, a Kremlin official said. The T-90s will reinforce the Iraqis’ M1A1 Abrams fleet damaged in the fight against Islamists.
“A significant contract for a large batch” of T-90 tanks has been signed between Baghdad and Russian manufacturer Uralvagonzavod, Vladimir Kozhin, an aide to the Russian president on military-technical cooperation, told the Izvestiya newspaper.
The defense industry official refused to disclose the price of the deal, but said “the number [of tanks] is substantial.” Iraq’s Ministry of Defense has also confirmed the purchase of the Russian-made tanks, according to the newspaper.
Earlier, Uralvagonzavod, the tank’s manufacturer, reported it will deliver 73 T-90S and T-90SK tanks to Iraq this year. The company’s annual 2016 report released in July mentioned a contract with “foreign customer 368” – a Russian defense industry designation for Iraq – to be fulfilled in 2017.
The T-90S is the designation of the export version of the armor while “SK” stands for the export version meant for a unit commander.
Built upon the time-proven Soviet T-72 design, the T-90 is among the best-selling tanks in the world. In past years, hundreds of T-90s have been purchased by the Indian, Algerian and Azerbaijani militaries, with Kuwait, Vietnam and Egypt also having expressed strong interest.
Known for its firepower, enhanced protection and mobility, the T-90 features a smoothbore 2A46M 125mm main gun that can fire both armor-piercing shells and anti-tank missiles.
The advanced tank also features sophisticated armor, ensuring all-round protection of the crew and critical systems, including explosive reactive armor and active infrared jammers to defend the T-90 from inbound rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles and other projectiles.
Originally developed for the European theater, the T-90 has also seen action in the Middle East. A small number of tanks have been delivered to Syria to reinforce the military’s capabilities of combatting Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL).
Earlier media reports suggested the T-90 could become a game changer when operated by a professional and well-trained crew.
Last year, Syrian rebels released a video showing what appeared to a missile attack on a Syrian T-90, believed to be outside Aleppo. The militants engaged the tank with a US-made BGM-71 TOW missile, but the direct hit did not cause significant damage. Moments later, the crew managed to drive the tank backwards to safety.
Iraq reportedly made the decision to purchase the Russian military hardware following the successful performance of the tanks in Syria, Izvestiya noted.
The T-90s are likely to be used by the Iraqi military alongside the American-made M1A1 Abrams tanks. Between 2010 and 2012, the US supplied 140 refurbished Abrams tanks to Iraq as part of a wider arms deal.
Some of them were damaged or destroyed beyond repair in fierce fighting against IS, according to military think-tank Jane’s, citing open sources. Twenty-eight Abrams tanks operated by the Iraqi Army have been damaged in fighting with militants, while five of them sustained full armor penetration when hit by anti-tank guided missiles.
In October last year, an M1 Abrams was hit by a 9M133 Kornet anti-tank missile at the Qurayyah crossroads south of Mosul. The missile hit the tank from behind, ramming into the turret and causing the ammunition compartment to explode.
The penetration of a tank’s armor by a shaped-charge warhead “increases the likelihood of crew casualties, but does not necessarily result in the destruction of the vehicle,” Jane’s wrote.
Highlighting growing demand for Russian weaponry that has demonstrated its effectiveness in Syria, President Vladimir Putin earlier this month noted the need to expand Russian arms sales abroad.
“All our decisions on supplies of arms to external markets are based on the current international situation in various regions – in order to prevent any imbalances and to avoid an escalation of conflicts. On the contrary, our weapons must be used to contain conflicts at the early stages,” Putin underlined.
Russia has shown off its military might in massive army games featuring 4,000 personnel from 28 countries.
China, Iran and Kazakhstan are among the nations battling it out to be crowned champions at the International Army Games in the Russian city of Tyumen.
Dubbed by Russian media as 'the contest for real men', it features an event called the Tank Biathlon in which a crew does laps of a 5km obstacle course while shooting at targets.
The biathlon, which tests the crew's speed and shooting accuracy, takes place in the Alabino military training centre.
Russia is said to be using its modified T-72B3M, China has brought its Type 96 while India has opted for the host nation's T-90S.
Other countries taking part in the games, lasting from July 29 to August 12, include Iran, Egypt, Angola, Morocco, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
Servicemen can opt to compete in 28 army disciplines, from the Medical Relay Race to a Field Kitchen competition involving army cooks.
The annual military competition is in its third year, having been launched by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in 2015.
Russia has shown off its military might - and tanks - in massive army games featuring 4,000 personnel from 28 countries. Pictured: A Russian T-72 takes part in the contest
China, Iran and Kazakhstan are among the nations battling it out to be crowned champions at the International Army Games in Tyumen. Pictured: A Russian T-72 tank opens fire during the 'Safe Route' event in which teams navigate through a minefield
Russian Su-24 bombers, the kind shot down by Turkey near the Syrian border, soar through the skies during the 'Safe Route' competition in which teams have to assemble a 'mechanised bridge'
Uzbekistan's BTR-82A armoured personnel carrier takes part in the final stage of the Safe Route contest, dubbed by Russian media as the 'contest for real men'
Uzbekistan's BTR-82A armoured personnel carrier takes part in the final stage of the Safe Route contest at the firing range of the Tyumen Higher Military Engineering Command School.
The countries who attend the event without their own tanks are reported to be given Russian T-72B3 tanks. Pictured: The Russian team celebrating victory in the 'Safe Route' event
The Russian team (pictured) were victorious in the Safe Route contest which requires them to clear anti-personnel mines from the course
Uzbekistan was one of 28 nations competing in the prestigious games on Russian soil. Pictured: Uzbekistan's TMM-3M2 vehicle-launched bridge system
Countries taking part in the games, lasting from July 29 to August 12, include Iran, Egypt, Angola, Morocco, Uzbekistan (pictured during 'Safe Route'), Venezuela and Zimbabwe
Russian boy plays with a Russian automatic grenade launcher AGS-30 during the 2017 International Army Games
The contest also features an event called the Tank Biathlon in which a crew does laps of a 5km obstacle course while shooting at targets. Pictured: A Russian soldier takes part in the Safe Route event
The International Army Games 2017 kicked off in Russia on July 29, with over 150 teams from 28 countries participating in the event. Pictured: One of the Russian teams
The tank biathlon, which tests the crew's speed and shooting accuracy, takes place in the Alabino military training centre. Pictured: Russian troops clearing the minefield during 'Safe Route'
Russia is said to be using its modified T-72B3M, China has brought its Type 96 while India has opted for the host nation's T-90S. Pictured: The Belarusian team takes part in the final stage of the Safe Route contest
Servicemen can opt to compete in 28 army disciplines, from the Medical Relay Race to a Field Kitchen competition involving army cooks. Pictured: The Uzbek team during 'Safe Route'
The annual military competition is in its third year, having been launched by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in 2015
A Russian man takes pictures on a Russian self-propelled artillery system, the SAU-2S3, during the 'Safe route' event
Eighteen countries, including those who have faced criticism over human rights abuses, were invited to compete in the games
Though the games are largely held in Russia from July 29 to August 12, China, Kazakhstan and Belarus will also host some of events
A Russian military man lets young Russian children inspect one of the (presumably unarmed) guns at the military games
A Russian cadet disassembles a Kalshnikov automatic rifle during the 2017 International Army Games 2017 in Tyumen, Russia
Posted by ASC at 1:27 PM