Ethiopia has ordered more than 200 T-72 upgraded tanks from Ukraine, in a deal worth over US$100 million. State controlled arms exporter Ukrspecexport SC has signed the contract yesterday with the Defense Ministry of Ethiopia.
This order, expected to be delivered from Ukraine military surplus, is the largest export order Ukraine has signed in the past 15 years and also, one of the largest single deliveries of Main Battle Tanks in recent years.
The T-72s to be delivered to Ethiopia will be equipped with a new engine, have a suite of reactive armor and be capable of firing guided missiles through the main gun such as the 9K120 Svir (AT-11). The Ukrainians are expecting to get more value from the deal by supporting these tanks over their life span. Ammunition deliveries could further increase the value over time.
The Ethiopia Army already operates some 60 T-72s obtained from Yemen in 2003. In recent years the country has also increased the number of T-55 tanks available to ins mechanized units. Ethiopia has bolstered its military power to better deal with deteriorating security along its border with neighboring Eritrea and Somalia.
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