02 Juni 2010

Russia Plans to Upgrade BMP-3

02 Juni 2010

Upgraded BMP-3 series (photo : Kurganmash)

Russia, UAE Hold Talks on Modernizing BMP-3 Infantry Vehicles

Russia and the United Arab Emirates are holding negotiations on modernizing a large number of BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, a defense industry official said on Wednesday.

Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, is heading the Russian delegation at a meeting of the Russia-UAE intergovernmental committee for military and technical cooperation.

The talks in Abu Dhabi are to focus on the "full modernization of a large number of BMP-3s in an effort to seriously increase their combat capability," the Russian official said.

"We have succeeded in this direction," Dzirkaln said.

The infantry fighting vehicles had been earlier supplied to the UAE by Kurganmashzavod, a Russian machine building company based in Kurgan, western Siberia.

The official said that the military officials in the United Arab Emirates have "a good attitude for cooperating with Russia." "Therefore I make the conclusion that our cooperation has a future."

Dzirkaln also confirmed that Russia will finish delivering Pantsir-S1 short-range air defense systems to the United Arab Emirates by late 2010.

"This year the delivery will be completed. Two more shipments of these vehicles will be delivered and the contract on the delivery will be fulfilled," he said.

Russian media reports said Moscow had signed a $734-million contract with the United Arab Emirates in 2000 on purchasing 50 Pantsir-S1s.

Pantsir-S1 is a short-to-medium range combined surface-to-air missile and antiaircraft artillery system manufactured by the Tula-based Instrument Making Design Bureau (KPB).

It is designed to protect point and area targets and carries up to 12 two-stage solid-fuel surface-to-air missiles in sealed ready-to-launch containers.

The system also has two dual 30 mm automatic cannons that can engage targets at a range of up to 4 km.

The Russian official said it was too early to speak about the prospects of further delivery of Pantsir-S1s to the UAE.

"Further development will consist of providing service maintenance and continuing training UAE specialists in the aspects of operation, repair and service maintenance," he said.

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