MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) - Hungary has started the delivery of 58 T-72 tanks to the Czech Republic, according to the Hungarian government website.
“On Monday, August 25 in the morning hours, Excalibur Defense Ltd. commenced transporting 58 T–72 tanks into the area of the Czech Republic. The tanks are withdrawn from service and have been purchased from the Hungarian Defence Forces,” a statement on the website said.
Under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), the Czech company faces certain resale limitations and bears responsibility for the handling and use of the tanks. The Czech firm also has to comply with Hungarian law.
Defense Industry Daily reported that Hungary is in possession of more than 30 T-72M1 tanks, with the 58 tanks sold drawn from reserves of about 120 T-72M tanks. Similarly, in 2005 Hungary sold 77 T-72 tanks to Iraq.
The website also referred to Poland’s Rzeczpospolita newspaper, which asserts the tanks may actually be meant for Ukraine, which is in need of hardware. It should be noted, however, that the Czech Republic does not border Ukraine, which makes the delivery process to Ukraine more complicated, if there are any such plans.
The Czech Army, according to Defense Industry Daily, currently has about 30 T-72M4 CZ tanks in front line service and about 90 T-72M1 tanks in reserve.