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Wednesday 24 February 2021

IDEX 2021: Ukrain, Pakistane Sign Contract for Tank Repair

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KIEV (UkrInform) — In the framework of the International Arms Exhibition and Conference (IDEX 2021), Ukraine and Pakistan concluded an $85.6 contract for the maintenance and repair of Soviet-era T-80UD main battle tanks (MBT).

Ukrinform reports this referring to the press service of Ukrspecexport, an authorized state-owned intermediary company dealing with export and import of military and special products and services.

Ukrspecexport CEO Vadym Nozdria, when commenting on the progress of IDEX 2021, which is underway in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, said:

This is the first contract of Ukrspecexport, one of the most systematic and effective special exporters of Ukroboronprom, with Pakistan this year.

The T-80 was designed and manufactured in the Soviet Union. When it entered service in 1976, it was the second MBT in the world to be equipped with a gas turbine engine after the Swedish Strv 103 and the first to use it as a primary propulsion engine. The T-80U was last produced in a factory in Omsk, Russia, while the T-80UD and further-developed T-84 continue to be produced in Ukraine. The T-80 and its variants are in service in Belarus, Cyprus, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine. The chief designer of the T-80 was the Soviet engineer Nikolay Popov.

In 1993 and 1995, Ukraine demonstrated the tank to Pakistan, which was looking for a new main battle tank. The tank was tested in Pakistan and in August 1996 Pakistan decided to buy 320 T-80UD tanks from Ukraine. The tanks were all supposed to be delivered in 1997. After the first batch of 15 vehicles had been shipped in February 1997, Russia protested that it held the rights to the tank and that Ukraine couldn’t export it. Nearly 70% of T-80UD components were produced outside of Ukraine (mainly in Russia). Under the guise of keeping good relations with India, one of its most important military customers, Russia withheld 2A46-2 125 mm smoothbore guns, cast turrets and other technology, which forced Ukraine to make its tank industry independent. It developed domestic components, including a welded turret, which was in use on the new T-84. Ukraine was able to ship 20 more T-80UD tanks to Pakistan between February and May 1997. These 35 tanks were from Ukrainian Army stocks of 52 T-80UDs; they were built in the Malyshev plant several years before but were not delivered to their original destination. Their capabilities were below the standard agreed by both Ukraine and Pakistan. The contract was completed by shipping another 285 Ukrainian T-80UD between 1997 and early 2002. These had the welded turret and other manufacturing features of the T-84.

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