Russian Army to get essentially new tank : Top Army Official

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Moscow, Dec 23 (UNI) Russia is testing an essentially new tank and plans to put it in service in 2009, the chief of armaments and Deputy Defence Minister General Nikolai Makarov said here.

''The tank will have a running gear, a power unit, armaments and systems of fire control, target identification and reconnaissance that are absolutely new,'' General Makarvov said, adding the tank will start being manufactured on a regular basis in 2009.

''Currently, tests are under way, we are planning to finish them next year,'' he told Interfax-AVN military news agency.

He said the state armaments programme makes provision for financing the final testing of the tank and putting it in service.

''These funds are enough for rearmament with the new tank to be noticeable not only to the armed forces themselves but to our whole people as well,'' he added.

Gen Makarov also said Russia will put its strategic nuclear submarine Yury Dolgoruky, fitted with the new Bulava missile system, in service in 2008.

''Of course, we will absolutely get it in 2008,'' he stressed, adding ''At the moment, routine tests are under way, they are finishing.'' UNI

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