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Russia to export tanks to turbulent regions

Published time: February 14, 2012 18:18
Edited time: February 14, 2012 22:18

Tank T-90S at Nizhni Tagil exhibition (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Vladykin)

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Russia is to supply Algeria and Turkmenistan with its latest model of T-90C tanks.

In total, Russia plans to sell 150 tanks at a cost of around $500 million – 30 to Turkmenistan and 120 to Algeria, a Russian military insider told Vedomosti.

The relevant contracts were drawn up in 2009 and 2010, when the Arab World was rocked by protests in Algeria's neighbors Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. Among other countries that received Russian tanks were India, Uganda and Kazakhstan.

In 2012, the volume of tanks sold to those countries is expected to grow seven-fold, permitting Russia to overtake China as the world's biggest tank exporter.

In March 2011, the Russian military's chief of staff slammed T-90 tanks as being of too poor quality for his country's army. He said that Russia would be better served spending the same amount of money on three German Leopard tanks for the price of one T-90.