Royal Thai Army orders new batch of 14 VT4 MBTs

The Royal Thai Army, who has just received 10 new VT4 Main Battle Tanks, will order 14 more from NORINCO for the amount of $ 73,425,976, according to the Army Ordnance Department of Thailand.

Royal Thai Army orders new batch of 14 VT4 MBTs 92501
The VT4 is a new generation of main battle tank designed and manufactured by the Chinese Defense Company NORINCO. (Picture source Army Recognition)

In 2011, Thailand ordered 49 Ukrainian-made T-84 ‘Oplot-M’ MBTs plus a number of support vehicles with Ukrspetsexport, an Ukrainian state-owned defense contractor. However, at the end of 2015, only ten were delivered by Ukraine because of the territorial conflicts faced by the country at that time. This important delay caused concerns among the Royal Thai Army.

Thus, the RTA decided to consider another option: to buy other battle tanks and by contacting the Chinese defense company NORINCO for a long-term project with several phases to pursue the replacement of the M41A3 light US tanks that have been used since 1962.

During the phase 1 in 2017, twenty-eight VT4 MBTs were delivered for $150 million to the 3rd Cavalry Division. Then, a second batch of 11 VT4s were delivered for $58 million in the second phase. The phase 3 of the VT4 main battle tanks project aims to pursue this replacement of its old M41A3 light tanks with 14 battle tanks for $73 million. These VT4s will be deployed in two cavalry battalions of the 7th Cavalry Regiment.

The VT4 is a part of the new generation of battle tanks composed with the latest technology. Its combat abilities are among the most advanced in the world. Armed with a 125mm smoothbore gun with shell balance and trajectory tail (APFSDS-T: Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Sabot-Tracer). Its armament is composed of 190 rounds and 90 missiles (HEAT-T: High-Explosive Anti-Tank-Tracer) and 150 rounds (HE-T: High Explosive-Tracer), 12.7 machine gun penetration (API: Armor Piercing Incendiary) with 5,830 ammunition.


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