Russia’s main battle tank manufacturer, Uralvagonzavod, has started delivering advanced T-90 battle tanks to the Iraqi army under a major deal struck between Moscow and Baghdad earlier this year.
“The contract is being implemented in accordance with the schedule approved by the parties,” the press office of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation announced in a statement on Thursday.
The Russian presidential aide for military-technical cooperation, Vladimir Kozhin, told Izvestia daily newspaper on July 20 that “a significant contract for a large batch” of T-90 tanks has been signed between the Iraqi government and Russian manufacturer Uralvagonzavod.
Kozhin did not disclose any information about the price of the deal, but said “the number [of tanks] is substantial.”
Uralvagonzavod had announced in mid-July that it was going to deliver 73 T-90S and T-90SK tanks to the Iraqi military this year.
The T-90 is a third-generation Russian battle tank built upon the time-proven Soviet T-72 design.
It is among the best-selling tanks in the world, known for its firepower, enhanced protection and mobility.
The T-90 features a smoothbore 2A46M 125mm main gun, which 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 it from inbound rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles and other projectiles.
Indian, Algerian and Azerbaijani militaries have purchased hundreds of T-90 battle tanks in past years. Kuwait, Vietnam and Egypt have also expressed strong interest in buying the tank.
The Iraqi military plans to reinforce its fleet of M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks with T-90s. A large number of American M1A1 Abrams tanks have been damaged in the fight against Daesh Takfiri terrorists.