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17:28 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Russia's new main battle tank to enter service 'after 2010'

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Russia's armed forces will start receiving new-generation tanks superior to the famed T-90 main battle tank (MBT) "after 2010," a government official said on Thursday.

Tanks in Moscow (Image gallery)

NIZHNY TAGIL (Urals), July 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's armed forces will start receiving new-generation tanks superior to the famed T-90 main battle tank (MBT) "after 2010," a government official said on Thursday.

At present, there are over 25,000 MBTs in service with the Russian Ground Forces. However, relatively modern T-80 and T-90 models account for only 30 percent of the current fleet of tanks and even these tanks require constant upgrades to incorporate modern weaponry, protection and electronics systems.

"The T-90 MBT will be the backbone of the armored units until 2025. T-72's and T-80's will not be modernized and will be eventually replaced by new-generation tanks, which will start entering service after 2010," Sergei Mayev, head of the Federal Service for Defense Contracts (Rosoboronzakaz) told a news conference.

The new-generation MBT, which still does not have a designation, will feature better firepower, maneuverability, electronics and armor protection than the T-90 MBT.

Its speed will increase from 30-50 kph to 50-65 kph (19-31 mph to 31-40 mph).

According to some sources, the new tank may be equipped with a 152-mm smoothbore gun capable of firing guided missiles with a range of 6,000-7,000 meters.

In comparison, the T-90 MBT has a 125-mm 2A46M smoothbore gun, which can fire AT-11 Sniper anti-tank guided missiles with a range of 4,000 meters.