The cost of a radical renewal of the country’s entire tank fleet is prohibitively high though. Fully aware of this the Vietnamese are now thinking of buying a limited number of modern tanks from Russia and upgrading their old ones to bring them up to speed with the demands of modern warfare.
“Vietnam has about 1,500 medium tanks and around 1,000 light ones. All of them were developed shortly after WWII and are no match for what Vietnam’s neighbors, above all China, now have. Keeping them in good shape is not easy as spare parts for them are increasingly hard to get these days,” Murakhovsly said.
He added that even in Russia, modernized T-72 and T-72B3 tanks sell at around $1.3 million apiece and even with minimum export overheads the price would climb to $1.5 million.
“As for the T-55 and T-62 tanks, they will cost at least half a million dollars and twice as much with dynamic protection, a modern fire control system, a thermal sight and a system to fire antitank missiles through the cannon,” Murakhovsky added.
“It is up to the Vietnamese side to decide, of course, but I think that buying modern tanks and getting rid of some of their outdated ones would be the right way to go,” Viktor Murakhovsky said in conclusion.
Never miss a story again — sign up to our Telegram channel and we'll keep you up to speed!