Czech Defense Ministry Unaware of Hungarian T-72 Tanks Purchase

T-72 main battle tanks

MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – The Czech Defense Ministry is unaware of any T-72 tanks being transported from Hungary into the Czech Republic, Director of the Communication and Promotion Department at the ministry Jan Pejsek told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

“The Czech Defense Ministry does not have any information about the transportation of T-72 tanks by a Czech company from Hungary into the country,” Pejsek said.

The Czech Industry and Trade Ministry told RIA Novosti that it had issued no license to any Czech firm authorizing the import of Hungarian tanks.

On Monday, Czech company Excalibur Defense Ltd. began transporting 58 T–72 tanks, purchased from the Hungarian Defense Forces, into the Czech Republic, the Hungarian government website said. These 58 tanks could have been drawn from Hungary’s reserves of about 120 T-72M tanks.

According to a representative of Czech holding Excalibur Group, Excalibur Defense Ltd. is a Hungarian company that used to be linked to Czech company Excalibur Army Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Excalibur Group. Excalibur Army Ltd. has not yet provided any comments on its possible link to the purchase of tanks.

Russian Armata tank to enter testing in November

Russian Armata tank to enter testing in November

MOSCOW, September 7 (RIA Novosti) – The prototype of Russia’s next generation Armata main battle tank is ready for testing, which will begin by November, the head of the Russian Tank Forces said Saturday.

“The prototypes will be unveiled soon at an exhibit in Nizhny Tagil, and their tests will kick off within a month or two, I believe,” Lt. Gen. Alexander Shevchenko said on Echo Moskvy radio.

The biannual Russian Arms Expo will run in the Urals city in September 25-28 this year. Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in July that the country’s leadership will get a sneak preview of the new tank during the arms fair.

An unmanned version of the Armata main battle tank is also on the cards, Shevchenko said.

Armata is a universal combat platform that is to be utilized for production of various armored vehicles. Shevchenko said on Friday that prototypes are already created for an Armada-based main battle tank, heavy infantry fighting vehicle and armored recovery vehicle.

The combat platform, named after a 14-century Russian cannon, is being designed since 2009 by the state-run corporation Uralvagonzavod, headquartered in Nizhny Tagil.

Armata-based vehicles will be a match for their existing NATO counterparts and even excel them in certain areas, Shevchenko said Friday, without elaborating.

Not much is known about the upcoming Armata battle tank, tentatively scheduled to enter military service in the Russian army in 2015. Media reports and military officials said earlier said that its turret would be unmanned, with three-man crew residing in the better protected chassis area, and that the main gun may utilize either shells or missiles.

Shevchenko also said Saturday that all standing alert units of the Russian army will switch to two types of main battle tanks – the T-72 and the T-90 – by early 2015. The move will complete the tank unification program in the Russian military, which utilized 40 models of 10 different battle tanks in 2008, he said.