Upgrades for Iraqi armor units

Defense Solutions to rebuild T-72 Tanks and Other Military Vehicles for the Iraqi Army

I noted previously that the new Iraqi army had received its first T-55 tanks. Now, 77 T-72s donated to Iraq by Hungary are going to be refitted for use by the Iraqis, as well:

The T-72s were deactivated by the Hungarian Army at the end of the Cold War and placed in long-term storage. Hungary, which became part of NATO in 1999, donated the tanks to Iraq with NATO approval.

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 county road test before releasing the equipment for shipment to Iraq. The contract is expected to take up to six months.

“When fielded, these tanks will help bring stability to Iraq, allow the Iraqi Army to assume more responsibility for its nation”s security and hasten the day when US forces can come home,” according to Defense Solutions” CEO Tim Ringgold, himself a retired US Army colonel and former mechanized brigade commander.

Via Defense Industry Daily.


  1. Here is a dumb question: What kind of armor capabilities will our NATO ally Hungary retain? It does not sound like they are replacing these T-72’s with anything else. Thanks for helping out in Iraq, but how much help would they be in actually defending Hungary against the Russians?

  2. Gee, do you really think the Russians are going to be in a position to charge into Europe any time soon?

  3. Maybe, if our allies are giving away their tanks and not replacing them. Then it’s just Uncle Sam and the Brits spending money to defend the rest of Europe.

  4. Living in the UK, I can tell you that the military is badly underfunded here too. Noone cares any more, I think the same is reflected across Europe. Noone can see a threat appearing that will affect europes homeland. It is a real pity because Europe could have become a new superpower on the side of democracy.. but now they are just an economic power, and nothing more.

  5. Bram, shake yourself awake … the Group of Soviet Forces Germany is gone. Hungary used to be a Warsaw Pact nation anyways. Traditionally it has been the midget amongst its neighbors: Smallest ground forces, air force, lowest standards of military readiness. This was the Kremlin’s reward for Prime Minister Imre Nagy’s uprising of 1956. I wouldn’t discount the ability of Europeans to defend themselves, and I wouldn’t overestimate the capabilities of the British. They’re hurting right now; I have a friend who resigned his commission recently in disgust; his brother is still an officer in the Paras, and I’ve heard the stories. The men are first-rate; the system behind them is not. The British are years behind in many, many respects, mostly in automation and battle tracking resources. And expecting the Europeans to kick more money towards defence is really pushing it. The integration costs of bringing the Eastern European nations (and basketcases like Italy) to Franco-German standards is not insubstantial. The pressures of foreign adventure are just not worth the risk. Remember the debacles of Bosnia and Kosovo? You expect the Europeans united to be able to conduct operations in far-flung reaches of the world when they can’t bring themselves to crush villany on their very own continent? The Russians, by the way, have defined their sphere of influence by both word and deed over the years, and you can rest assured that they will be far more concerned with what happens to their south than to the west. If you want source attribution for this, feel free to demand it. You take it easy.

  6. Something tells me the Cold War is still going on…just no longer with nuclear weapons being the pieces.

  7. Is blind intuition the sole basis for the last statement, or something else – perhaps a sequence of real-world events? Please explain.

  8. My complaint with our ‘alliances’ with Hungary and many other European countries is the one-sidedness of the whole thing. If they are attacked or even seriously threatened by the Russians or any other foreign power, the U.S. is committed by treaty to come to Hungary’s aid. In the event of a real crisis, we would have an airborne brigade there in 48 hours with much more to follow. If we find ourselves in trouble elsewhere in the world, will Hungary jump in and help? Of course not, even if they want to they have virtually nothing to help us with. The cost of entry to NATO should at least be a commitment to maintain a couple of decent quality brigades – not obsolete Soviet junk that no NATO commander would use for any important mission.

  9. Bram: ‘If we find ourselves in trouble elsewhere in the world, will Hungary jump in and help?’ Yes they did – they sent a Battalion to Iraq. Bram, there are no other powers in the region capable of threatening Europe besides the Russians – and you already know they have far more important concerns that trying to bully Europe! As for the NATO alliance, all member states are required to provide aid, not just the United States. The cost of entry to NATO being a couple of brigades? Bram, limits on NATO kill the best military cooperation forum for the Western World. I much prefer the Hungarians stay in and cooperate with us on counter-terrorism and intelligence (which they do) rather than provide two legacy brigades that they don’t have lift for. Bram, do you really want to see every nation in Europe with strategic airlift, and the aerial tankers/fighter escort/technology base to go along with it? You want to see, perhaps a socialist government take over and all that being sold on the cheap to a nation like China or Pakistan? I’d say that the current state of affairs is more than acceptable.

  10. It seems Hungary joined NATO so that it did not need to have a big army. They moth-balled their MBT T-72 and are now giving them to Iraq. When a nation no longer defends itself, it will be taken.