Five Ukraine tanks on way to Thailand
A new batch of five more tanks from Ukraine will be delivered late this month as the Royal Thai Army has so far received 31 of the Ukraine-made T84 Oplot tanks, according to an army source.
Ukraine was contracted to supply a battalion of 49 T84 Oplot tanks worth 7.2 billion baht in 2011 but was slow to press ahead with production and delivery due to security problems in the country.
So far, 31 Ukrainian tanks have been sent to Thailand and the new batch of five tanks are now heading to Thailand by ship and are expected to reach the country by the end of this month, according to the source.
The final batch of the remaining 13 tanks have already been manufactured and Ukraine is now waiting for an army delegation to travel there to examine the tanks late this month.
During the Defence and Security 2017 exhibition in Bangkok on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon met with Ukraine Defence Minister Stepan Poltorak, and the Ukraine minister informed Gen Prawit of the progress in the delivery of the tanks.
The two ministers also discussed a range of topics covering military and defence industry cooperation, such as setting up a repair and maintenance factory for military vehicles, the transfer of defence technology and military logistics support.
The two sides also agreed to set up a working panel to follow up on their cooperation. The source also said Ukraine had expressed interest in investing in the construction of a centre for manufacturing and maintenance in Thailand.
The Defence Ministry plans to build a production and maintenance facility for Chinese weapons in Thailand.