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Thailand has allocated new budget of $255 million to purchase new main battle tanks.

  1. Robert Dsouza

    Robert Dsouza Moderator

    7816 Posts
    Jul 10, 2014
    +3 / 421 / -0
    The Royal Thai army has allocated a new budget of about THB 9 billion ($255 million) to purchase new main battle tank in addition to the Ukrainian contract for the delivery of 49 T-84 Oplot main battle tanks. Army spokesman Col Winthai Suvaree said the army's procurement panel will consider all possible options before making a decision based on cost-effectiveness and transparency.

    The budget for these main battle tank (MBT) will be spread over three fiscal years from 2016 to 2018. These new MBTs will replace old American-made M41 Walker Bulldog which are in service for over 50 years with the Thai armed forces since the Vietnam War.

    According a national Thai newspaper, the first idea was to replace the M41 with the Ukrainian MBT Oplot but after additional procurement of the OPLOT tanks from Ukraine ran into problems, Thailand has taken the decision to launch a new tender.

    The Thai army is planning to purchase new tanks from abroad in the near future and, is interested in the Russian T-90 tanks, declared Colonel Vinthay Suvari, spokesman for the Chief of Army Staff, on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.

    The Thai Ministry of Defense is forming a temporary commission for the purchase of tanks, which will consider products from various countries and report of their findings to the Government for acquisition of the armored vehicles, he added.

    Three models of MBT have been short listed, the Russian T-90S, the South Korean K1A1 and the Chinese VT4 (MBT-3000).

    The T-90S is an enhanced version of T-90 Main Battle Tank (MBT) to meet the operational requirements of countries in Asia. The T-90S is used by India. The T-90S is the latest development in the T-series of Russian tanks and represents an increase in firepower, mobility and protection. It is manufactured by Nizhnyi Tagil of the Russian Federation.
    Main armament of the T-90S includes one 125 mm 2A46M smoothbore gun, stabilised in two axes and fitted with a thermal sleeve. The cannon is also able to fire 9M119 or 9M119M anti-tank missiles which have semi-automatic laser beam riding guidance and a hollow charge warhead. Missile weight is 23.4 kg.

    Russian T-90S

    The T-90S tank is protected by both conventional armour-plating and explosive reactive armour (ERA). The T-90S is fitted with the Shtora-1 defensive aids suite which is produced by Electronintorg of Russia.

    The K1A1 is an improved version of K1 main battle tank manufactured by the South Korean Company Rotem (part of the Hyundai group). The first two prototypes of the K1A1 successfully completed operational tests in 1997, which is now in service with the South Korean army.

    The K1A1 is armed with the 120 mm M256 smoothbore gun which is also installed in the General Dynamics Land Systems M1A1 and M1A2 Abrams MBTs. The K1 is armed with a 105 mm M68A1 rifled gun.


    The K1A1 is fitted with advanced armour of the Chobham type at the nose of the hull, turret front and sides. This armour provides protection from both kinetic and chemical energy attack.

    The MBT-3000 also named VT4 for the export version is a new generation of main battle tank designed and manufactured by the Chinese Defense Company NORINCO. According NORINCO, the MBT-3000 is the latest technology of main battle tank especially designed to meet the challenge of high-tech warfare. Its overall performance and combat capability are among the most advanced main battle tanks in the world.


    The main armament of the MBT-3000 consists of 125mm smoothbore gun fitted with a thermal sleeve and fume extractor. It is fed by an automatic loader which holds a total of 22 projectiles and charges which can be loaded at the rate of eight per minute.

    The turret is in the centre of the hull and is of all-welded steel armour construction to which a layer of composite armour has been added over the frontal arc. To increase the body side protection, the MBT-3000 can be fitted with explosive reactive armour (ERA). Stowage baskets are mounted to the rear and each side of the turret.
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