Thailand is likely to increase its total order for Chinese-made VT-4 main battle tanks to 49 up from the current 28 plus 10 additional ordered in 2017.
Thailand had purchased 28 VT4 tanks in 2015 and ordered an additional 10 last year. The tanks are produced by China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO).
Of the 28 VT4 tanks, 26 were commissioned by the 3rd Cavalry Division in Khon Kaen Province, while the other two were delivered respectively to the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Centre at Adisorn Military camp in Saraburi and the Army Armory Hall.
The Royal Thai Army conducted tests of the newly inducted China-built VT4 main battle tank, also known as the MBT3000, on Friday at the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Centre at Adisorn military camp in Saraburi, Thai and Chinese media reported.
The commander at the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Centre told the press that the tank VT4 integrates the advantages of world-class advanced main battle tanks with a high level of informatization, maneuverability and firepower.
The VT4 showed its strong maneuverability by making a 30% gradient climb, navigating through water and coming up from a ditch. The tank also carried out shooting tests of both ground and aerial targets. With a 125mm smoothbore gun, the VT4 was able to shoot armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot (APFSDS), high explosive anti-tank cartridges and artillery missiles. The longest range of the artillery missiles was 5 kilometers.
The VT4 is equipped with a stabilized fire control including cooled thermal imager sights for commander and gunner. It is also fitted with roof-mounted panoramic sights and a digitalized gun control system, capable of detecting, following and shooting targets in the day or night.
The Royal Thai Army told reporters that "the VT4, equipped with stable main armaments and a strong power system and control system, is much easier to handle and comparable with US-made tanks."
Equipped with a China-made 1200-horsepower diesel-fuelled engine and a hydromechanical drive system, the VT4 can run at a maximum speed of 70 km/h and a maximum cross-country speed of 50 km/h.
Add-ons include a new GL5 Active Protection System (APS) which customers can have the system fitted on the VT4 if they require.
Thai Army chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart said China and Thailand will build a repair and maintenance center together to ensure the production and maintenance of its accessories.