Thailand Orders 14 Additional VT4 Tanks from China

One of Thailand's VT4 main battle tank delivered in 2017. Photo c/o Shephard Media.

According to the Thailand Army Ordnance Department, the Royal Thai Army (RTA) ordered another batch of 14 VT4 main battle tanks from China’s NORINCO in a deal worth US$ 73.4 million.

This would be the third confirmed order by Thailand for the VT4 tank, after an initial order for 28 units worth US$ 150 million was made in 2016 and was completed delivered by October 2017, and a second batch of 10 units worth US$ 58 million was made in early 2018 and was received on the same year.

The third order for 14 units will allow the Royal Thai Army to have a 49 units, which is to equip a fully-equipped tank battalion.

The acquisition of the Chinese VT4 was made after Ukraine failed to smoothly deliver Thailand’s order for T-84 Oplot main battle tanks, with only 10 tanks delivered out of several dozen units ordered. This can be attributed to Ukraine’s own domestic problems in the past few years. China also promised to set-up a maintenance facility in Thailand to support the tanks, as well as other Chinese-sourced armored vehicles.

The new VT4 is being positioned to replace the RTA’s ageing fleet of M41 Walker Bulldog light tanks, which are in service with the RTA since the 1960s.  The VT4 is equipped with a 1,200hp turbocharged diesel engine, weighs 52 tons and is armed with a 125mm smoothbore gun as its main armament.

[1] Army Recognition
[2] Bangkok Post
[3] Army Recognition
[4] Defense-Blog

Thailand Orders 14 Additional VT4 Tanks from China Thailand Orders 14 Additional VT4 Tanks from China Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on January 09, 2019 Rating: 5

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