The 1st Cavalry Division’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team “Greywolf” Soldiers were afforded the opportunity to test Russian-made T-80 main battle tanks.
Soldiers with 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team “Greywolf”, 1st Cavalry Division, visited South Korean 3rd Armored Brigade – is the only unit in the armed forces of South Korea that has Russian-made armored vehicles.
Nowadays, South Korea operates Russian-builds T-80U main battle tanks and BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, that were delivered to Seoul in the 1990s towards Russian state debt payments.
When the Soviet Union was dissolved, Moscow offered South Korea to repay debt with the one thing it had in abundance: state-of-the-art weaponry. Seoul at first resisted but by 1994 it agreed that one half of the debt would be settled by a transfer of Russian arms.
To date, Russian combat vehicles are in service with two battalions of the 3rd Tank Brigade. Deliveries of BMP-3 from Russia began in 1996. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute`s (SIPRI) arms transfers database, Russia delivered to the Republic of Korea 43 T-80U MBTs and 67 BMP-3 IFVs in 1995-2006.
According to checkpointasia.net, T-80U remained South Korea’s hands down most potent tank for nearly 20 years, until 2014 when its domestically-produced K2 which boasts a 120mm gun and is it’s equal begun entering service.
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