Libya has signed an armament contract with Russia to revamp its T-72 tanks.

Under the contract, Russia will modernise around 145 of the T-72 tanks currently in service with the Libyan Army, RIA Novosti reports.

Russia and Libya have been engaged in talks since 2006 on the modernisation of Libya’s tank arsenal as part of their bilateral military-technical cooperation.

The T-72 tanks have been deployed in many battles, including the Soviet-Afghan War, Croatian War of Independence, Chechen War I and II and the recent Gulf War.

In an interview with Ria Novosti, the deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said that work has begun towards completion of a number of contracts that the country has signed with Libya over the past year.

The deputy director of the Russian Centre for Strategic and Technological Analysis, Konstantin Makiyenko, predicted last year that the total value of arm contracts with Libya could amount to an estimated $4bn.

Libya was one of the top buyers of the Soviet-made armaments in the second half of the last century. Since the 1970s, the Soviet Union has delivered more than 2,000 tanks, 2,000 armoured personal carriers and armoured infantry vehicles, around 450 self-propelled artillery pieces, small arms and a number of combat aircraft to Libya.