The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has ordered the additional 10 VT4 main battle tanks from China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) worth $58 million, a government spokesman said.
That was reported by reuters.com.
The new Chinese-made VT4 main battle tanks to replace old U.S. M41 light tanks in service with the Royal Thai Army.
“These tanks will replace the M41 tanks, which are small and old,” Sansern Kaewkamnerd told reporters.
Thailand has used the U.S. M41 light tanks since World War II, said Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.
Relations have been strengthening between China and the United States’ oldest ally in Southeast Asia, particularly since ties with the United States cooled after a 2014 coup.
According to Reuters, Thailand also ordered 28 tanks from China last year.
The VT4 (also named MBT-3000) is an export version is a new generation of main battle tank designed and manufactured by the Chinese Defense Company NORINCO.
The main armament of the VT4 consists of 125mm smoothbore gun fitted with a thermal sleeve and fume extractor. The VT4 has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver. The 52-tonnes VT4 can run a maximum road speed of 70 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 500 km. The VT4 can ford a depth of 4 to 5 m with preparation and a trench of 2.7m. The tank can climb a gradient of 60% and a vertical obstacle of 1.2m maximum.