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MOSCOW, February 26 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Airborne Troops (RAT) will be mainly equipped with domestically-designed armored vehicles, including Tigr-M, RAT Commander Col. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov said.
“Our brigade-level air assault units will have an armored car component based on Tigr vehicles,” Shamanov said at a news conference in RIA Novosti on Monday. “The deliveries of Tigr-M will start soon, and the first recipients of these vehicles will be special forces units.”
The SPM-2 GAZ-233036 Tigr (Tiger) is a high-mobility multipurpose military vehicle manufactured by MIC, a GAZ Group division, at the Arzamas machine-manufacturing plant.
It has a maximum speed of 150 kilometers per hour and can carry up to nine personnel or 1.2 tons of cargo.
In addition, the Airborne Troops may order experimental Typhoon 6x6 armored personnel carriers, manufactured by Russia’s KamAZ, after the company modifies the vehicle’s design to match the demands of the Russian paratroopers, Shamanov said.
The announcement comes shortly after the Russian Defense Ministry said it would not purchase any more Italian Rys (Lynx) light multirole vehicles (LMV).
The Iveco LMV M65 Lynx, was picked under former defense minister Anatoly Sedyukov over the locally produced GAZ-2330 Tigr armored vehicle in a rare departure from the military's principle of "buying domestic."
The first 57 vehicles were assembled last year with 10 percent local content at a plant in Voronezh. The remaining 301 vehicles under existing contract will be assembled in 2013 at a new KAMAZ plant in Tatarstan.
Newly-appointed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has insisted that domestic manufacturers must have priority in procuring weaponry for the Russian military.
As part of the 2011-2020 state arms procurement program, the Defense Ministry plans to buy 1,775 LMVs by 2015 for $1 billion.
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