11:38 11.01.2017

Malyshev Plant preparing to transfer new batch of Oplot tanks to Thailand

Malyshev Plant (Kharkiv) continues implementing a contract to supply Oplot combat tanks to Thailand in line with the approved schedule. The plant is preparing for the transfer of a new batch of the tanks, the press service of the plant told Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday.

"Today we have not received any official information from the Thai customer that the contract is terminated or the conditions of the contract are revised. The contract is being implemented in line with the approved schedule. Soon the customer would accept the new batch of tanks. It is planned to complete the contract in full amount this year," the press service said, commenting on foreign media reports that Thailand decided not to buy Ukrainian Oplot tanks in favor of China's VT-4 tanks over the internal situation in Ukraine.

The press service said that the media campaign about the alleged problems with supplies of Ukrainian Oplot tanks to Thailand is not the first: similar reports were seen last year.

Recently Thailand's Bangkok Post reported with the reference to Commander-In-Chief of Thailand Armed Forces General Chalermchai Sittisat that Bangkok and Beijing are discussing expansion of defense cooperation. Among promising directions is purchase of armored vehicles from China to replace U.S. M-41 tanks bought in the United States in 1957. Thailand has signed a contract to buy 28 Chinese VT-4 tanks and seeks to boost the supplies in 2017. Gen Chalermchai said that after problems with the delivery of 49 Oplot tanks ordered from Ukraine, the army committee which decides on military hardware procurements has opted to cut the number of tanks to be bought from Ukraine. The problem facing the Ukrainian supplier was due mainly to Ukraine's internal situation, he said.

However, the Ukrainian tank maker should be able to deliver all 49 tanks to the Thai army by October, 2017, according to Gen Chalermchai.

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