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01:20 PM, January 18, 2019
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Royal Thai Army VT-4 MBT

The Royal Thai Army is seeking approval from the cabinet for the purchase of 14 VT-4 battle tanks from China for an approximate 2.3 billion baht ($72 million).

If the cabinet approves the purchase, it will be the third batch of VT-4 tanks Thailand will buy from China Ordnance Industries Group Corporation. Each tank will cost an approximate 167 million baht ($5.2million), Bangkok Post reported quoting an unnamed Army source as saying Monday.

The first batch of 28 such tanks were purchased in 2016 at a cost of 4.9 billion baht ($154 million), and the second batch of 11 tanks that came in 2017 were valued at 2 billion baht ($63 million).

A source in the army's procurement committee said the army wants to purchase more VT-4s because of their satisfactory performance. Prior to switching to VT-4s, the army had unsuccessfully tried to procure T-84 Oplot-M tanks from Ukraine-based Ukroboronprom due to the unrest resulting from its conflict with Russia, said the source.

The army is also planning to procure 190 APFSDS-T shells, 60 HEAT-T shells and 150 HE-T shells, said the source.

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