By APD writer Chen Jiabao
BANGKOK, Oct. 12 (APD) - Thailand plans to buy 10 more VT-4 main battle tanks from China, following a recent delivery of the first batch of 28 tanks of the same type, said a Thai army source.
Given an estimated two billion baht (about 58.8 million U.S. dollars) in procurement funding, the Thai army will buy a second batch of 10 Chinese-built VT-4 tanks, said the army source who only spoke on condition of anonymity due to lack of authority.
Earlier this year, Deputy Prime Minister/Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said the army would be given additional funding by the government for the planned procurement of the second batch of the Chinese main battle tanks.
The army has planned to have a full battalion of newly-procured tanks for deployment by its Third Cavalry Division based in Khon Kaen province, about 450 kilometers northeast of Bangkok, the source said.
Meanwhile, the first batch of 28 VT-4 tanks, bought at a combined price of 4.9 billion baht (about 144.1 million U.S. dollars) was delivered on Monday at Sattahip naval base and then transported to Adisorn Fort at Cavalry Center in Saraburi province, about 115 kilometers north of the capital.
They are yet to be finally delivered to the headquarters of the Third Cavalry Division in the northeastern province.
The Chinese-built VT-4 tank is equipped with a 125-mm. cannon, an anti-aircraft machine gun and laser-guided bombs.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)