Light Armor Acquisition Still Undecided

RIA Novosti reports the Defense Ministry is still undecided about purchasing European-made light armor for its military vehicles.  Defense Minister Serdyukov has said Russia might buy it from a German company.

Monday Deputy Defense Minister, Armaments Chief Vladimir Popovkin visited Italian firm IVECO’s display at Eurosatory-2010 in Paris.  IVECO uses German technology in fabricating light armor. 

Popovkin said:

“Issue of acquiring light armor and technology for its fabrication still isn’t decided.  Domestic scientific-research institutes still haven’t answered us about whether they’re ready and capable of making such armor.  If they make it, then we’ll use it, if they don’t, we’ll search for ways of getting Western technology for its subsequent production in Russia.”

Popovkin also indicated leading military producers are actively developing a new class of wheeled armored vehicles.  He said in the Russian Army’s modernization there are plans to establish light, medium, and heavy brigades.  Light brigades will have wheeled, medium wheeled and tracked, and heavy only tracked vehicles.  

A RIA Novosti source said:

“A lot depends on the deployment locations of these brigades and the combat missions they’ll be given.  This will be the determining factor for supplying brigades with this or that equipment.”

As an example, he mentioned IVECO’s development of a 29-ton wheeled tank with composite armor and a 120-mm main gun.

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