ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – We have received 39 T-90 tanks from Russia as part of the government’s process of rearmament and boosting the country’s military capabilities, the Iraqi Defense Ministry announced on Thursday.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement the Russian tanks would be delivered to two battalions in an army brigade.
Iraqi military personnel was previously trained on operating the tanks under the supervision of Russian military experts.
On Feb. 20, Iraqi army chief of staff Othman al-Ghanmi said a batch of 36 Russian tanks had arrived at the port of Umm Qasr in southern Iraq and were later moved to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
About two years ago, Iraq signed a deal with Russia for the supply of 73 Russian T-90 battle tanks worth one billion dollars.
According to Ghanmi, who spoke to reporters in Basra, the deal includes the supply of “a full armored brigade.”
“The tanks used by the Russian army, supplied to Iraq, will increase the capability of the Iraqi armed forces,” he added.
Vladimir Kozhin, a Russian presidential aide for military and technical cooperation, told a Russian media outlet in March that “Iraq is [Russia’s] traditional partner and it has been boosting its [military] potential by ordering our equipment.”
The T-90 is a third-generation Russian-made battle tank built and distributed in 1993. The tank is designed from the Soviet T-72 tank, the most modern of the Russian army.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany