Iranian Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan announced that his country is mulling purchase of advanced T90 tanks from Russia, Fars News Agency (FNA) reported.
“We have presented the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces with a proposal to buy T90 tanks from Russia,” Pourdastan told reporters in the Northeastern city of Mashhad.
“We are trying to develop the needed defensive capacities and capabilities in ourselves proper to the atmosphere of threats (posed to Iran),” he stressed.
The T-90 is a Russian third-generation main battle tank that is essentially a modernization of the T-72B, incorporating many features of the T-80U (it was originally to be called the T-72BU, later renamed to T-90). It is currently the most modern tank in service with the Russian Ground Forces and Naval Infantry.
Some of the T-90 tanks were deployed in Northern Syria last week in the war on terrorist groups.
Pourdastan’s remarks came after Russia announced that it has begun the supplies of S-300 air defense systems to Iran.
“The contract is in action. They’ve begun,” Russian Presidential Aide for military-technical cooperation Vladimir Kozhin said in reply to a question earlier this month.
Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanayee late last month said his country had received the first S-300 systems.
The Head of the Rostec corporation (to which the Rosoboronexport company is affiliated) Sergey Chemezov said earlier the new contract for selling S-300 to Iran had taken effect at the beginning of November. The contract was concluded after Russian President Vladimir Putin had lifted the ban from selling this air defense system to Iran. Iran will get the S-300PMU-2 configuration.
Russia and Iran signed a contract in 2007 for the supply of five S-300PMU-1 battalions but in the autumn of 2010 then-President Dmitry Medvedev banned the supply of these systems to Tehran.
Iran filed an almost $4 billion lawsuit against Russia at the Geneva Court of Arbitration over Russia’s non fulfillment of the contract.
In the spring of 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban on the supply of S-300 systems to Tehran.
There is no official information yet which modification of S-300 Iran plans to obtain: S-300PMU-1, which has been discontinued but may be specially produced for the Iranian side, or S-300VM.