Rebuilt T-72 Tanks for the Iraqi Army
Defense Solutions, LLC reached agreement with the Iraq Ministry of Defense to rebuild 77 T-72 main battle tanks and other military vehicles for the Army of Iraq. Defense Solutions will refurbish the T-72 tanks to bring them to operational condition, test fire the main gun and other weapons systems, and conduct a cross country road test before releasing the equipment for shipment to Iraq.
The T-72 tanks were donated to Iraq by the Government of Hungary, and Defense Solutions will refurbish the tanks in Hungary under a US State Department license before NATO takes possession and ships them to Iraq. The value of the contract is estimated at $3.5 million, which does not include transportation and security costs for the delivery of the vehicles from Hungary to Iraq. The contract is expected to take up to six months.
The T-72s are the main combat power of a new Iraqi Armored Division being created with the assistance of the US Army. Recent tactical experiences in the Middle East have fostered a doctrinal change in the US Army, and underlined the importance of well armored main battle tanks for urban combat.
- WIRED Danger Room – Copy of the T-72 contract [PDF].
- WIRED Danger Room (July 10/08) – Weldon’s Firm Made Defective-Tank Deal With Iraq. Details the problems experienced with the T-72s, when Defense Solutions tried to refurbish them. Final costs undisclosed, via a contract whose structure might not have been allowed had the customer been the US Army. Ziad Cattan, who signed the contract, has since been accused of corruption involving no-bid contracts for Soviet-era equipment.
- DID Story Follow-Up III (Nov 20/05) – Iraq Receives T-72s & BMPs – Another Armored Brigade Planned. Iraq’s 9th Division (Mechanized) has been impressive in making it this far. These T-72 and BMP vehicles will equip a second brigade, and a third brigade is planned.
- DID Story Follow-Up II (Nov. 14/05) – Iraq’s T-72s: Payment Received. CENTCOM’s MNF-I sends us a note explaining what went wrong.
- DID Story Follow-Up I (Nov 10/05) – T-72 Tanks Headed for Iraqi Army… or Impoundment. The tanks almost didn’t make to Iraq, as a result of non-payment. Learn what happened, and why.
- LA Times, via CorpWatch (Nov 6/05) – IRAQ: Before Rearming Iraq, He Sold Shoes and Flowers. Covers Ziad Cattan.
- News Release – Defense Solutions to rebuild T-72 Tanks and Other Military Vehicles for the Iraqi Army
Hat Tip to Col. Timothy D. Ringgold (ret.) and Joseph Angelilli of Defense Solutions LLC for their assistance with this article, and others in the series.