Russia sends first batch of T90 tanks to Iraq

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Russian crews load Iraqi T90 tanks for delivery to Basra's Um Qasr Port
Russian crews load Iraqi T90 tanks for delivery to Basra's Um Qasr Port

The advance T90 battle tanks were ordered in a 2014 deal between Iraq and Russia. The Uralvagonzavod company has upgraded the initial order to the latest model with Iraq after negotiations during the war on ISIS. Iraq was previously the only country allowed the Radar addition to the Mi-28 night hunter helicopter, Algeria not being permitted. The T90 order will give Iraq a total of 73 tanks at first as the order continues to be filled.

The order includes advance T90 tanks as well as several commander variant T90SK tanks which feature far greater sights and communications to lead operations. Local sources have told Al Sura’s correspondent in Baghdad that the 9th Armored Division will take on the T90 main battle tanks as it’s main tank and the American Abrams will become a new division after proving to be highly successful in the battle against ISIS. The Russian T90 chassis has been in use in Iraq for over 4 years as the Iraqi TOS-1A rocket launcher platform operates on the T90 chassis and Iraq has already trained the necessary technicians for the T90 both in Russia and Iraq.

The 2014 contract also specified an order of BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles but many insiders have informed Al Sura that this has been changed as the war on ISIS showed a need for more specialized Infantry Fighting Vehicles more focused on attack rather than troop transportation. Iraq has looked to it’s local defense industry to modify older tanks into this role.

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