News Briefs

Talking Turkey

The prototype of the Altay, a home grown new-generation tank for Turkey, has successfully passed all acceptance tests. Its builder, Otokar, said the prototype has now completed the tough qualification testing stage, including mobility and endurance testing on rough terrain and climatic conditions, firing tests with various scenarios and survivability testing and they are now confident Altay will soon be one of the best modern main battle tanks in the field The Turkish government’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries will now decide whether it will award the serial production contract, worth billions of dollars, to Otokar or launch a competition.

India Meets Russia over T90

Russia is a major supplier of defence equipment to the India armed forces, with at least 60 per cent of their arms inventory coming from Russia. Talks for a T-90 upgrade programme began earlier this year but gained pace at a two-day India-Russia industry conference hosted by the Indian Ministry of Defence in New Delhi on March 17 and 18. More than 100 Russian and 150 Indian industry representatives joined the conference, including officials from Uralvagonzavod OAO, the original equipment manufacturer of T-90 tanks. The Indian Army operates the largest fleet of these tanks in the world and under the deal, Russian firms could transfer the tank technology to Indian partners in a bid to shake off the armed forces’ over-dependence on Russian supplies. The planned upgrade aims to ensure India’s 1,000 strong fleet of battle tanks will fire more accurately, move faster and provide better comfort to the crew.

Arms Deal

State news agency Itar-Tass is reporting that Russian authorities have imposed a three-year suspended sentence on a Muscovite who was trying to smuggle a World War Two tank into neighbouring Kazakhstan. The man apparently obtained a Soviet Т-34-85 circa 1945, from a Latvian citizen at for €20,000, but planned to sell it to a buyer in Kazakhstan for more than 10 times that amount.