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17 Jul 12. The majority of tracked armoured vehicles of the Russian Ground Forces (GF) will soon be replaced with wheeled vehicles, GF commander colonel general Vladimir Chirkin has revealed. Chirkin was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that the country’s MoD is planning to soon begin the research and development work for the production of wheeled vehicles. According to the Chirkin, the equipment being replaced includes self-propelled guns, air defence systems and light tanks, according to the general; he also said that one of the main reasons for the replacing was the longer service life of the wheeled vehicles. In addition, the wheeled vehicles are expected to allow the military to minimise rail-road transport during redeployment. Ground forces are set to take delivery of the first batch of 57 Italian Lynx light multirole armoured vehicles (LMVs) from Iveco Defense Vehicles before the end of the year. Signed in December 2011, the $24m contract covers purchase of a total of 60 vehicles, along with the semi-knocked down assembly in the central Russian city of Voronezh following deliveries. In addition, the country’s state arm exporter, Rosoboronexport, is working with France to jointly develop a new armoured infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), for use by the Russian Army. Rosoboronexport deputy chief Igor Sevastyanov said that the vehicle would feature a French base, but would be integrated with Russian weapons and turrets; it is expected to be complete in the coming 18 months as reported by RIA Novosti. The Russian Army currently operates Tigr Gaz-2330 light armoured vehicle, BMO-T heavy armoured personal carrier, as well as BTR-90, BTR-82/A, BTR-80/A, and BTR-70M1986/1 armoured personnel carriers (APCs). (Source: armytechnology.com)

19 Jul 12. The Czech Ministry of Defense plans to sell 134 T-72 main battle tanks currently used by the country’s military, reported local newspaper Hospodarske noviny. The tracked vehicles are most likely to be exported to an African country, according to the Czech newspaper. The sale will be handled by a private company. “The tanks are still operational, and they can be deployed in case of war,” said Jan Pejsek, the spokesman for the Ministry of Defense. In the past, the Czech Republic had sold many of its T-72s to Algeria, the spokesman said. Pejsek said the Czech Army has been gradually shifting its focus away from tanks in favor of lighter military vehicles with higher mobility. In addition to the T-72s, the Czech land forces have an additional 30 units of the T-72M4 CZ modernized version of the tracked vehicle. The tanks were overhauled by local defense manufacturer VOP from 2001 to 2006. The amount of the contract was 4bn Czech korunas ($194mn). The T-72M4 CZ weighs 48 tons and can carry a crew of three. Its 736-kilowatt engine from the U.K.’s Perkins Engines produces a maximum speed of 38 mph. The tank is fitted with a 125mm gun, a 7.62mm machine gun and a 12.7mm anti-aircraft machine gun. (Source: Defense News)

06 Jul 12. China looks to export air-transportable IFV. China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) has begun marketing its VN10 ultra lightweight tracked infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) for export. Despite the new designation, the vehicle is essentially the ZBD-03 Airborne Assault Vehicle (AAV) – also referred to as the WZ506 – which is understood to have entered service with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) around 2003-05 and was first seen in public during a major military parade in China in October 2009. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

12 Jul 12. Russia details advanced BTR-82A. Russia’s Arzamas Machine Building Plant has released additional details of the latest BTR-82/BTR-82A series of 8×8 amphibious armoured personnel carriers (APC). The new vehicles have evolved from the BTR-80/BTR-80A and Arzamas has conf

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