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Russia to Get New Kurganets Anti-Aircraft Defense System

Both projects were developed under President Vladimir Putin's sprawling 20 trillion ruble ($360 billion) decade-long rearmament campaign.

A Russian tractor manufacturer plans to build a new mobile anti-aircraft cannon on the basis of the military's new Kurganets-25 armored vehicle, news agency TASS reported Monday citing the company's press service.

Despite its innocuous name, Concern Tractor Plants builds military vehicles via its subsidiaries, such as the Kurganmashzavod factory — the plant behind one of Russia's newest combat vehicles, the Kurganets group of infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers.

“A family of promising amphibious vehicles is planned on the basis of the Kurganets-25 unified medium tracked platform … for example, a [57 millimeter] anti-aircraft artillery complex,” a Concern Tractor Plants spokesman was quoted by TASS as saying.

The Kurganets-based anti-aircraft cannons would replace an older piece of equipment in use with the Russian marines since the 1960s — the ZSU-23-4 Shilka anti-aircraft unit, which uses four smaller 23mm guns to destroy low-flying aircraft.

The Kurganets-25 vehicles were officially unveiled on May 9 as part of Russia's massive Victory Day parade celebrating 70 years since the defeat of Nazi Germany. The armored personnel carriers and infantry fighting vehicles are built using the Armata Unified Combat Platform, a multipurpose chassis design created by tank manufacturer UralVagonZavod.

Both projects were developed under President Vladimir Putin's sprawling 20 trillion ruble ($360 billion) decade-long rearmament campaign, which aims to replace 70 percent of Russia's aging Soviet-era military hardware with brand-new equipment by 2020.

Concern Tractor Plants did not respond to a request for comment on the project before this article was published.

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