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9 Jul, 2009 14:50

India to assemble Russian “flying tanks”

In July India is to begin assembly of Russia's main battle tank, the T-90. Up to now the country has bought only fully assembled tanks, but now it will build them with parts supplied by Russia.

The plan was announced at the Seventh International Exhibition of Arms, Military Equipment and Ammunition which is underway in the Urals.

Uralvagonzavod, based in Nizhny Tagil in the Sverdlovsk region, and Rosoboronexport, the state intermediary agency for export and import of military production, are going to start the serial assembly of T-90S tanks in India at the end of this month, said Plant Director General Oleg Siyenko.

“This is a long-term contract,” he said. “We will be supplying the tank sets in the period until 2015. Rosoboronexport and we plan to start the serial assembly of our products in India in late July. We will work on a full-scale maintenance center in India, as well.”

The T-90 is known as the “flying tank” for its maneuverability and speed.

The event showcases the most advanced weaponry on the market.

Another highlight at the show is the Tunguska-M1, a surface-to-air gun and missile system.

The organizers of the exhibition in Russia’s Nizhny Tagil also had other surprises in store. The Kord 12.7 6P50 heavy machine gun is a weapon that can be used against light armored vehicles. Known as “KORD,” the machine gun is manufactured by Degtyarev plant in different modifications.

This wonder of military engineering is capable of working in extreme conditions ranging from -50 to 50 Celsius. It is not afraid of mud or rain and, as developers say, a 12.7 mm gun can be very effective in combat.

“If, say, terrorists are hiding in a building, you don’t need tanks or anything. You just take this machine gun and destroy the building. You don’t risk the lives of soldiers,” said Roman Spirin, a designer at V.A. Degtyarev plant.

More than 400 companies and 44 foreign delegations are taking part in the exhibition, which also attracted thousands of spectators.