Talks are underway between Russia and the UAE to upgrade a large number of BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles for the UAE ground force, according to a defence industry official.

Russian delegation head Vyacheslav Dzirkaln said negotiations are being held in Abu Dhabi that are focussed on the full modernisation of a large number of BMP-3s in an effort to increase their combat capability, according to Rianovosti.

“This year the delivery will be completed and two more shipments of these vehicles will be delivered and the contract on the delivery will be fulfilled,” Dzirkaln said.

Russian company Kurganmashzavod originally supplied the amphibious infantry fighting vehicles to the UAE.

Dzirkaln also confirmed that Russia will deliver Pantsir-S1 short-range air defence systems to the UAE by late 2010.

In 2000, Russia signed a $734m contract with the UAE for the purchase of 50 Pantsir-S1 air defence systems.