Bulgaria unveils modernised T-72

by Christopher Petrov

HEMUS 2022 saw TEREM‘s first public presentation of the T-72 following its modernisation using Elbit hardware. The designation of this upgraded T-72 is yet to be decided. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

Bulgaria unveiled a modernised T-72 main battle tank (MBT) upgraded by the state-owned TEREM holding company on the opening day of the HEMUS 2022 defence exhibition held in Plovdiv from 1 to 4 June. The modernisation programme has focused on increasing the tank‘s situational awareness and the accuracy of its main gun. It represents the first serious attempt by the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to overcome some of the shortcomings of the original T-72M1 design, which has been in service with the Bulgarian Army since the 1980s.


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Germany approves 2023 defence budget

German defence spending trend, 2022−33. (Janes)

On 1 July Germany's federal government approved the draft 2023 federal budget, as well as finance plan 2022−26 and the Bundeswehr special fund announced following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Military spending for the next four years reflects the benchmarks decided by the federal cabinet in March, having been revised upwards by only a few million euros. Core defence spending in 2023 will amount to EUR50.1 billion (USD55.4 billion), a 0.6% nominal decrease from 2022 but a EUR2.76 billion increase compared with the estimate in the finance plan approved in June 2021. The core allocation to defence is set to remain flat in nominal terms until 2026.

The biggest development concerns the expenditure plan for a EUR100 billion special fund to modernise the Bundeswehr announced in a landmark speech by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in February and approved by parliament in June. The fund is to be spent within five years and will count towards meeting Germany's NATO commitment of spending 2% of GDP on defence.


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Slovakia expects to start receiving CV90 IFVs within three years

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The Slovak government approved the procurement of 152 CV90 MkIV tracked IFVs with 35 mm guns on 28 June. (Slovak MoD)

Slovakia expects to receive its first CV90 tracked infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) within three years, subject to the results of negotiations of the government-to-government contract with Sweden, the Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Janes on 4 July. The Slovak government approved the procurement of 152 CV90 MkIV IFVs with 35 mm guns on 28 June.

The proposed timeline of deliveries is from the second quarter of 2025 to the third quarter of 2028, according to a May 2022 feasibility study by the ministry on the procurement of tracked armoured vehicles. The study rated CV90s armed with 30 mm and 35 mm guns above the General Dynamics European Land Systems-Santa Bárbara Sistemas ASCOD proposed by Spain and the Rheinmetall Landsysteme Lynx KF41F proposed by Hungary. In early 2022 Slovakia held trials of the three contenders to replace its BMP IFVs at the Military Technical and Testing Institute (VTSÚ) in Záhorie.


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IAG showcases refined Rila 8×8

by Christopher Petrov

IAG's redesigned Rila 8×8 armoured vehicle is a major improvement over the first prototype presented at IDEX 2021. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

The Rila 8×8 armoured vehicle family was launched by the International Armored Group (IAG) at the International Defence Exhibition (IDEX) 2021 in Abu Dhabi. However, an improved model featuring a new turret and redesigned hull showcased at both HEMUS and at Eurosatory 2022 in June presented significant refinement to the vehicle's design.

This latest iteration of the design showcased the Rila 8×8 in an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) configuration, utilising the Spanish-made Guardian 30 remotely operated weapon system armed with the MK44 Bushmaster II 30 mm cannon. The turret is equipped with 12 smoke grenade launchers, Elbit laser-warning receivers, a meteorological sensor, and a PILAR acoustic array. The gunner and commander each have a fully stabilised third-generation thermal sight with CCD TV cameras, with the commander's panoramic sight located on the turret's roof. The Guardian 30 features a laser rangefinder and is suitable for hunter-killer operations.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/land-forces/latest/bulgaria-unveils-modernised-t-72

Bulgaria unveiled a modernised T-72 main battle tank (MBT) upgraded by the state-owned TEREM holding...

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