Germany's Leopard 2 recognized the best tank of the year
The Russian defense establishments (to be more precise, those which produce tanks) feel hurt, not by customers who have turned down contracts at the very last moment, but by Forecast International consulting company investigating the armament market.
Forecast International analysts compiled a list of the best tanks. Krauss-Maffei Wegmann’s modernized Leopard 2 (Germany) is rated first among the best tanks of 2002; the second place was given to General Dynamics Land Systems’ M1A2 Abrams (the USA); Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Type 90 assembled of several German components is rated third. The fourth place is occupied by Israel Ordnance Corps.’ Merkava Mark IV; then follows France’s Leclerc and Britain’s Challenger 2.
Russian and Chinese tanks are on the bottom of the list. Forecast International experts think that low reliability and poor safety are the main problems of Russia-made tanks.
However, any ratings, especially those concerning the armament market, should be treated rather skeptically, because the price of the matter is too high. Moreover, Forecast International is not benevolent to Russia’s military at all: it often rejects Russian planes, ships, and missiles as defective. At the same time, ratings of the company do not prevent India from purchasing Russia’s T-90 and not “world’s best” Leopard 2. India probably has its own opinion on the reliability of Russian tanks. It is an open secret that Russian technology develops new markets and retains the old ones with difficulty, as competitive activity is becoming harder every year. In this very case, the Forecast International rating is just one of the methods used in this competitive struggle. Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/07/24/44623.html