The Russian army will receive its Terminator armoured fighting vehicles (AFV) in batches starting March this year and the order from maker Uralvagonzavod is expected to be completed by early 2019.

Made by Uralvagonzavod Research and Production Corporation (UVZ), the Terminator was first revealed at the Russian army expo 2017 and the $426m (£301m)-contract to deliver them was also signed then.

A statement from the company quoted by Tass said: "It [the contract] is long-term. We plan to deliver the first batch of the tank support fighting vehicles this March- April. The whole contract will be completed by early 2019. The volume of deliveries is confidential, but overall it provides for the organization of operational testing for these specified products."

In the Terminator, the Russian army will have a brand new class of vehicle. The Chief of the Main Armoured Directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant General Alexander Shevchenko, said many countries, including Israel and Syria, are interested in the vehicle.

The Terminator is intended to flank and protect the main battle tank in the field. It will have two 30-mm-caliber 2A42 automatic guns and a 7.62-mm-caliber PKT coaxial tank machine gun. The AFV has a "combat weight" of 44 tonnes including a crew of three. The vehicle is about 7.2m long, according to the UZV website. It will also carry four guided missiles on launchers and 850 pieces of ammunition.

On a full tank, the Terminator has a range of 500 km. It has a V12 diesel engine that can reach a top speed of 60kmh.

The Russian armed forces are conducting a major overhaul of several branches and introducing upgrades to their systems. Recently, reports emerged that the Russian Navy was upgrading the weapons on its battleships to carry hypersonic missiles. Its space forces also got two new radar facilities last week. Earlier this year, Russia's largest weapons maker Kalashnikov said it had tested its automated weapons in near "combat conditions" and the weapons could be ready soon to fight in Syria in sync with aerial drones.