Procurement: Russia Buys Foreign Military Tech


September 4, 2007: Russia is ending a 70 year old tradition of not buying foreign (or at least Western) weapons, by purchasing a hundred French thermal imaging sights for its T-90 tanks. The Catherine FC thermal imaging cameras from electronics manufacturer Thales, resumes sales of Western military technology to Russia. Although the communists sought to become self-sufficiency in weapons, after they took over in 1917, it was another two decades before that became a fact. Up until the 1930s, the Soviet Union would buy or license military technology from the West. But after that, they stole what they could, and insisted that all their weapons were nothing but Russian technology. This was never the case, and when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russia began selling, and buying, technology. Some of it found its way into Russian weapons systems. But with this thermal imaging sale, the Russians are announcing that they, like most industrialized countries, are willing to buy military technology they need, from whoever can offer the best terms.


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