Ethiopia has agreed to buy more than 200 tanks from Ukraine
Ukraine on Thursday agreed to a deal with Ethiopia for the supply of more than 200 tanks for over $100 million (800 million Ukrainian Hryvnas), UKRINFORM news agency reported.
Ukrspecexport SC, the Ukrainian state-controlled arms exporter, signed a contract with the Defense Ministry of Ethiopia for 200 T-72 tanks. This was one of the largest contracts signed by the weapons exporter over 15 years of operation.
The tanks are a relatively new type of military hardware. The T-72 is equipped with a modernized power plant, guided weapons and armor system. The T-72 tank was originally produced in the Soviet Union n the 1970’s. It was widely exported to many African, Asian and Middle Eastern states.
Ukrspetsexport expects that the contract will have major economic and social impact. The implementation of if will improve the capacity of the Ukrainian businesses, create jobs and increase revenues.
Furthermore, the state-run arms dealer will receive orders for repairs and upgrades of the supplied tanks to Ethiopia in the future which will also benefit other Ukrainian companies.
The T-72 comes from the Cold War era when tensions where high between the west and Soviet backed-aligned states. While not the most advanced and up-to-date tank in the world, it does meet Ethiopia’s current needs given that the country has been involved in regional conflicts with Somali and Eritrea past few recent years. Ukraine on the other hand is trying to maintain whatever little it has left of it’s arms manufacturing industry given that it has been wrecked economically hard and like alot of countries by the 2008 financial global crisis.