Ethiopia to buy more than 200 T-72 tanks from Ukraine for $100 million

June 11, 2011

KIEV, Ukraine,(UPI) — Ethiopia is in discussions with Ukraine to buy more than 200 T-72 tanks.

The deal is projected to be worth more than $100 million, Ukrinform news agency reported Thursday.

Ukrspecexport SC, the Ukrainian state-controlled arms exporter, stated that its deal with Ethiopia’s Defense Ministry for 200 T-72 tanks is one of its largest contracts since the company’s establishment in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991.

The T-72 tank was originally produced in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and widely exported to African, Asian and Middle Eastern states as one of the Soviet Union’s premier weapons systems.

The Ukrspecexport SC export variant contains a modernized propulsion system, upgraded guided weapons and an improved armoring system of both the turret and the tank’s battle chassis for improved battlefield survivability.

Ukrspecexport officials said they are hopeful that the size and the magnitude of the Ethiopian order will have major economic and social impact in attracting orders for the Ukrainian defense establishment. Even if immediate additional business isn’t forthcoming, Ukrspecexport SC said it expects further orders for repairs and upgrades of the tanks supplied to Ethiopia.

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