The Russian Defense Ministry has decided to equip the Ground Forces mostly with wheeled rather than tracked armored vehicles, GF commander Col. Gen. Vladimir Chirkin said on Monday.
“The Defense Ministry has decided to replace the majority of tracked armored vehicles with wheeled vehicles,” Chirkin said. “We will soon start R&D work on the development of wheeled vehicles.”
The general said the replacement will involve self-propelled guns, air defense systems and light tanks.
One of the main reasons for the replacement is the longer service life of the wheeled vehicles, he said.
“The service life of the tracked vehicles until a major overhaul is up to 30,000 kilometers while that of the wheeled vehicles is up to 1 million kilometers,” Chirkin said.
Wheeled vehicles will also allow the military to minimize railroad transport during redeployment.
Russia signed a deal with Italy’s Iveco company last December on the semi-knocked down assembly of Lynx light multirole armored vehicles for the Russian Ground Forces in the central Russia city of Voronezh.
In addition, Russia is currently working with France on the development of armored vehicles with a French wheeled base but equipped with Russian weapons and Russian turrets.