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Russia's new Ground Forces chief urges drastic cuts in tanks

RIA Novosti

25/02/201013:59

MOSCOW, February 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's newly appointed chief of Ground Forces said on Thursday Russia would do well with half the number of tanks it has today.

"Currently, there are 20,000 tanks of all modifications in service but the actual requirement is half that number," Col. Gen. Alexander Postnikov said.

Postnikov said the country's Ground Forces needed new armor and new tanks to match the best foreign analogs.

For this purpose, the Defense Ministry has purchased 261 T-90 main battle tanks for the army this year, Postnikov said, adding the tanks will be delivered to the North Caucasus military district.

Postnikov said 1,000 tanks had been modernized last year to extend their service life but added that priority was given to the purchase of new tanks rather than to their modernization.

The T-90 is equipped with 125 mm smooth-bore gun, 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun and 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun supported with high accuracy sighting systems, and automatic loader for higher firing rate.

It also features sophisticated protection from chemical, biological and nuclear attacks.



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