180326 oplot 800After missing several deadlines over the past few years, Ukraine’s state-run defense production concern UkrOboronProm will now finally complete its long-standing contract to supply its advanced Oplot-T battle tanks to Thailand.

 

In a March 26 press statement, the concern’s director general, Pavlo Bukin, asserted that a final batch of six modern Ukrainian-made armored vehicles had already been produced and successfully tested in the presence of the ordering party.

 

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The last several tanks will be shipped to Thailand in the near future, the concern’s website quoted Bukin as saying. After the sale is complete, UkrOboronProm plans begin producing Oplots for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

 

 

Ukraine vowed to produce up to 49 new advanced tanks for Thailand as part of a $241 million contract with the Asian nation signed in September 2011. The first batch was shipped to Thailand in early 2014. However, in the ensuing years, production saw repeated delays due to an economic crisis in Ukraine amid Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the subsequent war in Donbas.

 

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By late 2016, UkrOboronProm had managed to produce only 25 vehicles out of 49, according to official figures. In April 2017, the Thai defense ministry reportedly declined to purchase the remaining tanks in favor of the Chinese VT-4 main battle tanks. However, UkrSpetsExport, a subsidiary of UkrOboronProm, asked Thailand to let it finish the Oplot contract in 2017.

 

 SOURCE

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Translation

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