Army sets sights on Chinese tanks
Arms deal plan aims to boost military ties
The Royal Thai Army will buy 34 armoured vehicles worth about two billion baht and another 11 VT-4 battle tanks from China, says army commander Chalermchai Sitthisat.
The army’s arms deal plan with China follows the controversial submarine procurement project by the Royal Thai Navy which last Friday finalised the contract for the first S26T Yuan-class submarine worth 13.5 billion baht.
According to Gen Chalermchai, the army has proposed the procurement of VN-1 armoured vehicles to the Defence Ministry for further submission to the cabinet for approval.
The VN-1 will join the almost 200 Ukraine-manufactured BTR-3E1 armoured vehicles currently in service with infantry units.
If the procurement is approved, it will mark the first time the army will have Chinese-made armoured vehicles in service.
Gen Chalermchai said the army panel set up to consider the armoured vehicle purchase picked China as the preferred contractor over other candidates including Russia and Ukraine.
The decision seems aimed to bolster Thai-Chinese military ties and ease concerns about maintenance and acquisition of spare parts, sources say…………..Read entire post: bangkokpost.com
The battalion of 49 VT-4 tanks will be deployed at the 6th Cavalry Battalion in Khon Kaen and the 21st Cavalry Battalion in Roi Et.
Gen Chalermchai said the first lot of 28 tanks is expected to be delivered this year.
According to the army chief, the army’s tank procurement panel decided to go for the Chinese-made tanks following the slow delivery of the Ukraine-made T84 Oplot tanks.