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Last batch of T-90s parts flagged off

By Vladimir Radyuhin

MOSCOW, APRIL 5. The last shipment of knocked-down T-90s main battle tanks bound for India was flagged off in Nizhny Tagil in the Urals Mountains on Monday at a ceremony attended by senior Indian diplomats and Russian officials.

With the dispatch of the last trainload of T-90s parts Russia completes the delivery of 186 sets of semi-knocked-down and fully-knocked-down tanks for assembly at the Avadi Heavy Vehicles Factory near Chennai.

Under a contract signed in 2001, India purchased 310 T-90s MBTs, out of which 124 tanks were supplied in ready-to-use configuration.

The ceremony at the Uralvagonzavod State Enterprise in Nizhny Tagil was attended by the deputy head of Rosoboronexport arms exporting company, V.A. Pakhomov, and the General Director of Uralvagonzavod, Nikolai Malykh, Rosoboronexport said in a press release.

The Indian side was represented by the Deputy Head of the Indian Embassy in Russia, Asoke Kumar Mukerji, and the Indian Military Atache, Brigadier A.K. Singh.

Rosoboronexport hailed the T-90s contract as "a model of international cooperation," which pushed traditional Indo-Russian defence ties to "new heights of technological interaction."

The first indigenously assembled T-90s rolled out of the Avadi factory in January. Once all Russia-supplied tanks have been assembled at Avadi, India will launch the process of T-90s indigenisation under licence accord with Russia on the full transfer of technologies.

Rosoboronexport said the T-90s had "a good potential for further modernisation." Even while implementing the contract, the sides added some options to the tanks, installing an air conditioner for the crew and enhancing the armour protection with the `Shtora' optoelectronic suppression system.

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