Army Buys German Field Camp

The Defense Ministry has bought a deployable field camp from a German firm, marking the latest military purchase from a Western country.

The ministry bought the field camp from Kärcher Futuretech, an unidentified ministry official told RIA-Novosti on Wednesday.

"This is yet another acquisition to modernize the Russian army," the official said. He did not elaborate on the specifics of the camp equipment or the cost.

According to Kärcher Futuretech's web site, field camps can include sanitary, catering and laundry facilities as well as a shower/toilet trailer. They should enable soldiers to endure extreme climatic conditions during extended deployment periods.

Kärcher Futuretech is a division of Kärcher, an equipment maker based in the southwestern town of Winnenden and known for high-pressure cleaners.

A company spokesman did not answer repeated calls for comment Wednesday.

RIA-Novosti said Kärcher's camp systems are already in use by the U.S. armed forces in Iraq.

President Dmitry Medvedev inspected a field camp last November during a visit to a Nizhny Novgorod region military base, the report said.

Arms purchases from foreign producers, especially NATO countries, remained taboo for many years after the Soviet breakup, but recently defense officials, faced with below-par domestic supplies, have been rethinking their policies.

The Defense Ministry has bought Italian-made armored personnel carriers and Israeli drones, and it roused a heated debate among NATO countries last year when it decided to buy Mistral-class helicopter carriers from France for the Navy.

It is not the first time a German supplier won a contract with the ministry. Last month, Rheinmetall, the country's biggest arms producer, signed a contract to build a combat training center at a firing range in the Nizhny Novgorod region.

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