BAGHDAD The Iraqi military has received dozens of more advanced T-90 battle tanks from Russia under a major deal struck between Moscow and Baghdad last year.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry, in a statement released on Thursday, announced that it had taken delivery of 39 tanks, adding that the armored fighting vehicles had been distributed between two battalions of an army brigade.
The statement said that Iraqi military personnel had already been trained by Russian experts on how to operate the battle tanks.
Iraqi Army Chief of Staff General Othman al-Ghanimi said on February 19 that his country's army had received 36 Russian-made T-90 battle tanks.
The T-90 is a third-generation Russian battle tank built upon the time-proven Soviet T-72 design.
It is among the best-selling tanks in the world, and known for its firepower, enhanced protection and mobility.
The T-90 features a smoothbore 2A46M 125mm main gun, which can fire both armor-piercing shells and anti-tank missiles.
The advanced tank also features sophisticated armor, ensuring all-round protection of the crew and critical systems, including explosive reactive armor and active infrared jammers to defend it from inbound rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank missiles and other projectiles.
Indian, Algerian and Azerbaijani militaries have purchased hundreds of T-90 battle tanks in past years. Kuwait, Vietnam and Egypt have also expressed strong interest in buying the tank.
The Iraqi military plans to reinforce its fleet of M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks with T-90s. A large number of American M1A1 Abrams tanks have been damaged in the fight against Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
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