skip to main content

Thailand takes delivery of Norinco VN-16 AAVs

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has confirmed that it has taken delivery of an initial three Norinco-produced VN-16 amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) from China.

An RTN spokesperson confirmed the procurement on 1 June, stating that the three vehicles, which will be operated by the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC), cost THB398.14 million (USD13 million).

The spokesperson also said that the acquisition constituted the first phase of the RTMC's AAV procurement programme, indicating additional purchases of the VN-16.

Janes understands that the new vehicles were ordered in October 2020 and will replace the RTMC's ageing Norinco Type 69-II main battle tanks (MBTs), which have been operational since the 1990s.

Bidding documents seen by Janes also confirm that the VN-16 procurement progressed through the Thai government's “specific method” of public procurement, or through a direct approach to qualified suppliers. These documents also show that an additional batch of three VN-16s – the export version of Norinco's ZTD-05 – is expected to be procured in this fiscal year if funding is available.

The RTMC is expected to operate its new VN-16s from its Chinese-made Type 071E (Yuzhao)-class landing platform dock (LPD), which was ordered by the RTN in September 2019 for THB4 billion. The new helicopter-capable LPD is an export version of the Type 071 being constructed by the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai for the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Currently it is scheduled to be delivered in the early 2020s and will be operated by the RTN as a multirole vessel involved in operations including territorial surveillance and patrol, logistics and troop carrying, and disaster relief.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...