Media: South Korea may postpone decommissioning of Russian tanks

Seoul may postpone plans to phase out Russian T-80U tanks, despite problems with their compatibility with other equipment in the South Korean arsenal, Pohan News portal reported, citing MP Lee Chong Gol.

The T-80U tanks and BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles were delivered to the Republic of Korea in 1995 and 2002 as payment for the state debt of the USSR. It is expected that the South Korean army will gradually abandon the use of these vehicles in the period from 2018 to 2022.

However, according to the deputy, these plans may be postponed, because there is no available alternative for Seoul yet.

"The fact that T-80U tanks or BMP-3 armored vehicles have confirmed their outstanding abilities in combat is a fact, but if take into account the difficulties arising during their usage because of the lack of spare parts, it is necessary to urgently prepare a plan that will determine whether the purchase of spare parts for military system on the basis of a military agreement with Russia is necessary or should the position on the earliest possible replacement of weapons be supported," Lee Chong Gol said.

In addition to problems with compatibility, the MP noted difficulties by Korean specialists in repairing tanks and a lack of spare parts in case of malfunctions. He also said, in an emergency, the stock of ammunition for the T-80U may not be enough.

  South Korea, T-80U tanks, Russia