Russian market closes as halt called to Italian armour purchases
By Alexander Zudin
The brief opening of the Russian military markets to foreign suppliers appears to have come to an end, with the Ministry of Defence having apparently abandoned plans to procure more Italian armoured vehicles.
Senior military officials have also cooled on an existing deal to purchase French Mistral-class amphibious ships, in an apparent volte-face on the acquisition of foreign systems to make up capability gaps.
The announcement that Russia will not procure additional Iveco light multirole vehicles (LMVs) from Italy came from Russian ground forces commander Vladimir Chrikin on 23 January.
In December 2011 Russia signed a deal with Italy's Iveco to build its Lynx vehicle (known as Rys in Russia) after four of them had completed trials there. Fifty-seven were assembled in 2012 at a plant in Voronezh, with some local content.
The agreement had caused consternation in Russia, where the GAZ Tigr vehicle had been in competition with the Iveco LMV to meet the order.
"We will not buy any more [LMVs]," Chrikin said. "We have the Medved [Bear - mine resistant wheeled vehicle], Tigr [Tiger 4x4 armoured vehicle], and Volk [Wolf multirole armoured vehicle] families," he added, referring to similar Russian-built vehicles of the manufacturer Military Industrial Company of Russian Machines.191 of 769 words
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