The Iraqi Ministry of Defense announcement Monday that the country took delivery of T-72 tanks and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles from the Bulgarian government.
The Bulgarian armor is part of a $245 million deal the Iraqi government signed with Apollo Engineering in 2021.
A freighter carrying the material arrived in the port of Umm Qasr on the shores of the Persian Gulf. Cameras reportedly captured at least 10 infantry vehicles and a main battle tank aboard the ship.
The Iraqi army will use the new military vehicles in various missions, including the fight against terrorism. The country’s armed forces are said to have more than 130 T-72 tanks.
“These combat wheels and armored tanks have various technical and combat characteristics, because they played a leading role in the war against the terrorist Daesh and will also be [be] a great addition to bolster the Iraqi Army’s combat capability,” the MoD said.
T-72 and BMP-1
Based on the Russian T-72M1, the Bulgarian T-72 features new night vision and heat vision technology, improved armor, anti-radiation coating and infrared suppression coating.
It uses a 125 millimeter smoothbore cannon as its main gun and is also armed with a 12.7 millimeter anti-aircraft machine gun.
The BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicle is powered by a 300 horsepower V-shaped airless injection diesel engine.
It is equipped with a 73-millimeter low-pressure smoothbore semi-automatic pistol and a coaxial 7.62-millimeter machine gun. The vehicle is capable of carrying up to eight military personnel.