Russia will finance Cuba to purchase Russian military equipment
Russia will finance Cuba for the purchase of Russian military equipment for an amount of $50 million, according the Russian newspaper Kommersant, citing two sources of Russian technical and military cooperation. An agreement will be signed by the two countries during the 16th intergovernmental commission on economy, trade and scientific-technical cooperation that will take place in Havana on October 29-30.
Local production of Soviet-made BTR-60 8x8 APC fitted with T-55 main battle tank turret at military parade in Havana, Cuba. (Picture source video footage Pond5)
The money invested by Russia to Cuba could be used to purchase armored vehicles and aviation equipment as helicopters. Cuba could also received spare parts to maintain its fleet of Soviet-made main battle tanks T-62 and BTR-60 wheeled APC Armored Personnel Carrier.
From 1966 until the late 1980s, Soviet Government military assistance enabled Cuba to upgrade its military capabilities to number one in Latin America and project power abroad.
Since 1975, the Soviet Union has undertaken a major modernization of all branches of the Cuban military, transforming it from a home defense force into the best equipped military establishment in Latin America and one possessing significant offensive capabilities. The Cuban armed forces are mainly equipped with armored vehicles from the former Soviet Union including T-62 and T-55 main battle tank, BMP-1 / BMP-2 tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle, and BTR-40/BTR-60/BTR-152 wheeled APC Armored Personnel Carrier vehicles.
Cuba also has upgraded locally some combat vehicles adapting weapons systems to combat vehicles, typified by the fitting of T-55 and BMP-1 turrets to BTR-60 chassis, fitting 122mm D-30 Howitzers to BMP-1 chassis and to trucks and adapting RBU-6000 rockets to being fired from a truck flatbed.
In December 2016, Russia and Cuba signed a program of technology cooperation in the defense sector until 2020. The document was inked at a meeting of the Russian-Cuban intergovernmental commission in Havana by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and Vice President of Cuba’s Council of Ministers Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz. In 2017, Havana formally turned to Russia requesting modernization of the country’s military equipment.