The past couple weeks have seen a few articles in the media about “how to buy a Russian tank.” Wired ran an article on the topic which seemed to garner a far amount of traffic. The article focuses on the relatively inexpensive former Soviet equipment being offered by Mortar Investments, a Prague-based dealer of military vehicles and gear. The Wired article describes the process of purchasing one of these Czech tanks as:
Ordering starts with a 30 percent deposit and a two-month wait as the Czech authorities work through their end of the paperwork.
Then four things need to happen before your baby comes home. No surprise, this involves forms. You’ll need an Application and Permit for Importation of Firearms, Ammunition and Implements of War from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Plus an International Import Certificate from the US Department of Commerce.
Second amendment or no, you can’t have your tank sent over before someone strips out the machine guns and cuts a hole in the cannon. And somebody needs to wipe the thing free of dirt to please the US Department of Agriculture.
You have to ship the thing. Mortar Investments estimates it costs $15k to the East Coast, $20k to Houston, and $25k to the West Coast. Your tank will arrive at the seaport closest to you, at which point you make yourself known to trucking companies through a series of peculiar phone calls.
Just for fun, we did a price check on vehicles over at the Mortar Investments page. We found the following:
2S1 Gvozdika $22,266
VT-34 Recovery vehicle $27,832
VT-55 Recovery vehicle $19,482