Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Russian Arms expo rocks the Urals

Published 08 July, 2009, 17:51

Multi-million dollar deals are on the table as Russia showcases some of its most advanced weaponry at the Seventh International Exhibition of Arms, Military Equipment and Ammunition in the Urals.

Despite the financial crisis that is affecting most of the world, participantion in the arms exposition in Russia’s Nizhny Tagil was only reduced about 8 per cent.

The T-90 tank and the tracked self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon Tunguska are among the hits on display at the show.

Turkmenistan has already bought the first batch of Russia’s T-90 tanks, dubbed “the flying tank” for its exceptional maneuverability and speed.

The T-90 is Russia’s main battle tank and is the most sophisticated and modern tank in the Russian armed forces. Designed and built in the city of Nizhny Tagil in the Urals, the 46-ton beast can cruise at up to 60 kilometers per hour and easily overcomes many land and water obstacles.

“It can hit the target with precision. During accuracy tests, results showed about 999 hits out of 1000. It can fire and guide missiles within a five kilometer range. Compared to other tanks, it is the most mobile and very maneuverable,” says Yury Tyurin, Chief Specialist at the Uralvagonzavod factory.

Its 125 mm gun can break through 1,000 mm wide armor and the tank has a unique three-layer protection system.

T-90 tank

There are more than 900 T-90s in the Russian army. The T-90 has proven to be so effective that India purchased more than 500 of them for its ground forces.

The T-90 is thought to be one of the most modern and attractive exhibits at the seventh international arms exhibition in Nizhny Tagil.


There is one fighter with much more experience and it deserves attention as well – the tracked self-propelled anti-aircraft weapon Tunguska-M1.

It was first put in service back in 1982 by the USSR. Since then it has been modified several times and is currently used by the armies of six countries.

Tunguska’s unique feature is that it is armed with both guns and missiles, and can attack targets both in the skies and on the ground.

“Its main advantage is in conducting combat performance with artillery weapons in motion. With rocket armament you have to stop and fire, but with artillery armament you can keep moving,” explains Lev Ochagov, Chief Specialist at the Development Design Office of Ulyanovsk mechanical plant.

More than 400 companies are taking part together with about 40 foreign delegations. Organizers boast that the budget of this year’s show is larger than ever.

The reason for so many countries coming to this exhibition is that some major arms deals could be signed. Last year several contracts were signed to supply arms to India and to the UN.

The participants of the exhibition, apart from demonstrating their products, are holding seminars and conferences to attract more customers.

The spectacular display of arms attracts a good deal of military specialists, arms producers, and ordinary people interested in modern arms alike.


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