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Defense & Security 2023: Norinco completes VT-4 deliveries to Thai army

The Royal Thai Army has taken delivery of 60 Norinco VT-4 main battle tanks, a model of which is displayed at the Defense & Security 2023 show in Bangkok. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)

China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco) has disclosed that it has completed deliveries of all 60 VT-4 main battle tanks (MBTs) on order for the Royal Thai Army (RTA).

A spokesperson for the company told Janes on 8 November at the Defense & Security 2023 exhibition in Bangkok that the last 12 tanks were delivered to the RTA's 6th Cavalry Battalion in Khon Kaen, northeast Thailand, in October. The RTA's 21st Cavalry Battalion in Roi Et, also in northeast Thailand, received five VT-4s in September.

The Norinco spokesperson did not comment on opportunities for the company to add to its VT-4 sales in Thailand. The RTA is understood by Janes to require at least 100 more MBTs to replace a range of ageing US-produced tanks including M41s and M60s.

The spokesperson said Norinco has implemented a comprehensive sustainment and maintenance programme for the RTA's VT-4 fleet but did not provide details.

Norinco previously proposed to establish a regional hub for military vehicle maintenance, repair, and overhaul in Thailand. However, this facility has not been set up.

The RTA procured its VT-4s through several orders since 2016. However, the fleet size of 60 as disclosed by Norinco is more expansive than previously reported.

The initial order featured 28 units for THB5 billion (USD141 million) and made Thailand the first international customer of the type.

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