It was reported on July 20 that Russia and Iraq have struck a deal on supplying a large batch of T-90 tanks. Vladimir Kozhin, the Russian president’s aide for military technical cooperation, confirmed the agreement but declined to provide details, saying only «the number of tanks is substantial». Russian military analyst Ruslan Pukhov told Russian newspaper Izvestia that the deal might cover deliveries of several hundred T-90 tanks, and that the contract may exceed $1 billion.
The T-90 is among the best-selling tanks in the world. Hundreds of vehicles have been sold to India, Algeria, Azerbaijan and other countries. A small number of tanks has been delivered to Syria to reinforce the military’s capabilities of combatting Islamic State (IS). Kuwait, Vietnam and Egypt are considering the option of purchasing T-90s.
Known for its firepower, enhanced protection and mobility, the T-90 features a smoothbore 2A46M 125mm main gun that can fire both armor-piercing shells and anti-tank missiles and the 1A45T fire-control system. Standard protective measures include sophisticated armor, ensuring all-round protection of the crew and critical systems, including Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armor and active infrared jammers to defend the T-90 from inbound rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles and other projectiles.
The agreement to purchase the tanks was also confirmed by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. The T-90s will reinforce the Iraqi M1A1 Abrams fleet damaged in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) militants. The decision to buy the Russian tanks was prompted by the successful performance of T-90s in Syria. During the battle for Aleppo, Syria, a T-90 was hit by US-made BGM-71 TOW missile. The direct impact caused no damage. For comparison, in October last year, an M1 Abrams was hit by a 9M133 Kornet anti-tank missile at the Qurayyah crossroads south of Mosul. The missile rammed into the turret from behind to make the ammunition compartment explode.
In 2014-2016, Iraq received 15 Mi-28 NE Night Hunter attack helicopters from Russia, The delivery was part of a wider $4.2 billion defense package signed in 2012. The deal included a combination of 43 Mi-35 (28) and Mi-28NE (15) attack helicopters, plus 42-50 Pantsir-S1 combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapons systems. The contract was fulfilled in October, 2016, as the attack helicopters and anti-aircraft systems had been delivered to the Iraqi military.
In 2014, Russia urgently sent several Su-25 aircraft upon the request of Iraqi government when the country’s military was losing ground during the IS offensive. The Iraqi military also uses Russia-produced TOS-1A Buratino heavy flamethrowers, Grad truck-mounted 122mm multiple rocket launchers, 152mm MSTA howitzers, Su-25 attack planes and armored vehicles.
A joint Baghdad-based Russia-Iraq-Iran-Syria operational center was established in 2015 to exchange intelligence and coordinate activities against terrorists. Iraq has allowed the Russian Air Space Forces to use its airspace for airstrikes against Islamists in Syria.
Moscow and Baghdad are in talks on opening of a direct air line between Baghdad and Moscow and the abolition of visas for diplomats.
The United States will deliver lethal weapons to Ukraine. There is no question whether the arms will be sent but rather which exactly weapon systems are to be included into the package. The Joint Staff is working with US European Command to determine what lethal defensive aid to Ukraine might look like, said Air Force Gen. Paul Selva on July 18 during a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing considering his nomination by President Donald Trump to serve another two years as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
«It will be more than just a military recommendation», the General said. «This will be a policy choice on whether or not we are going to give the Ukrainian government the tools they need to defend themselves against what we believe to be a Russian-supported insurgency movement in the Donbass».
Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, the US top European commander, is another staunch supporter of the plans to deliver lethal arms to Ukraine.
There are growing bipartisan calls to arm Ukraine on Capitol Hill. The House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) cuts the military aid to Ukraine from the initial $300 million to $150 million, but it provides permission for lethal arms supplies. The idea is strongly supported in the Senate. If the legislation goes through, the weapons could be legally sent to Ukraine starting October 1. The money could be used to deliver over 900 FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missiles designed to strike armored vehicles, fortified ground installations and low flying aerial targets at a distance of 50-2,500 meters.
European politicians, including German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, have opposed the idea. Some NATO and EU members have expressed skepticism about extending economic sanctions against Russia – let alone sending weapons to Ukraine. NATO Military Committee Chairman Peter Pavel has spoken against lethal arms deliveries to Kiev.
Another question pops up. Ukroboronprom, the state arms production concern, produces every line of armament the country may need. Human engineering cadre is highly qualified. The country has developed aerospace sector, heavy machinery and aircraft engine manufacturing complex, astronautics production and rocketry engineering sectors. If so, why does it need the Javelin and other types of lethal weapons so badly?
After all, Ukraine is the ninth leading arms exporter in the world. Just think about it! The ninth world weapons exporter needs lethal weapons coming from abroad? Why no US official or lawmaker raises this question? With a large defense industry capable of producing a wide range of advanced weapons, the country is unable to satisfy its basic needs while the defense production is largely focused on exports to enrich a certain group of people.
Ukraine tops the world corruption rating. According to the 2016 Global Fraud Survey, 88% of Ukrainian employees thought that bribery and corrupt practices were widespread in the country.
i wonder if there has been changed with you site as I am no longer able to access this from my mobile telephone only from my computer. I wonder if there are restrictions in place without you knowing it
I don't know - thats strange - I just checked and I can get it on my phone
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