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270 Upgraded T-72B3 Tanks for Army This Year

The T-72B3 in action at a tank biathlon. Vitaly V. Kuzmin

The army has received more than 250 modernized T-72B3 tanks from the Uralvagonzavod plant so far this year, and expects another 20 vehicles in the weeks before 2014 rolls in, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Wednesday.

Some of the machines are already in service and are manned by crews who had completed training to operate the modernized tanks, spokesman Kirill Kiselyov said, Interfax reported.

The modernized version of the T-72, which was a main second-generation battle tank produced in the Soviet Union since the 1970s, is equipped with new generation communications and firing systems and a ballistic data computer.

President Vladimir Putin has allocated 23 trillion rubles ($703 billion) to reequip the Russian army with modernized weapons over the next decade.

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