If there is a new main battle tank, it will be locally designed, but the Russian defense ministry is not willing to wait years and accept risks and cost increases to allow local industry to develop lower-end systems. In the AFV case, the army is eager to get new vehicles to replace older designs that have been intensively used and are either obsolete or time-expired.
In theory, deliveries of the new AFV should start as soon as 2015, but it is quite possible this date will slip to the right. Procurement of the whole complement of specialized variants (including command post, recovery, ambulance, mortar and so on) is envisioned.
The Russian appetite for Italian technology is not limited to AFVs. It is also known that Russia is interested in Beretta small arms, including the new ARX-160 assault rifle is in service with the Italian army. Russian army representatives have been briefed on the Italian army's Future Soldier program as well as on the Forza Nec network-centric/digitalization program. Italian authorities have made it clear they will screen the technologies, but in principle there is no veto.
Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov visited Italy, following a bilateral meeting held in Moscow last April. He met his Italian counterpart, Giampaolo di Paola, and then visited several Italian defense companies. The Italian economic development minister, Corrado Passera, in turn, went to Russia in July. Military-to-military meetings took place in parallel. And Russia is interested in creating a new corps of military police and is considering the Italian Carabinieri as a potential model.