Royal thai Army tests Chinese-built VT4 main battle tank
The Royal Thai Army conducted tests of the China-built VT4 main battle tank, also known as the MBT3000, on Friday 26/01 at the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Centre at Adisorn military camp in Saraburi. Reporters were there to witness the tests take place.
Mass Production Units of VT4(MBT-3000) Main Battle Tanks for Royal Thai Army unveiled in Norinco Armour Day 2017 in Inner Mongolia, China, 16 August 2017
Thailand has purchased 28 VT4 tanks and its cabinet has approved the repurchase of 10 additional tanks from China, with the number of orders likely to continue growing. The tanks are produced by China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO). Of the 28 VT4 tanks, 26 were commissioned by the 3rd Cavalry Division in Khon Kaen Province, while the other two were delivered respectively to the Royal Thai Army Cavalry Centre at Adisorn Military camp in Saraburi and the Army Armory Hall.
During the press open day, the VT4 showed its strong maneuverability by making a 30% gradient climb, navigating through water and coming up from a ditch. The army told reporters that the capability of the 1200-horsepower engine could not be fully tested as it is new. The tank also carried out shooting tests of both ground and aerial targets. With a 125mm smoothbore gun, the VT4 was able to shoot armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding-sabot (APFSDS), high explosive anti-tank cartridges and artillery missiles. The longest range of the artillery missiles was 5 kilometers. The VT4 is equipped with a stabilized fire control including cooled thermal imager sights for commander and gunner. It is also fitted with roof-mounted panoramic sights and a digitalized gun control system, capable of detecting, following and shooting targets in the day or night. Staff from NORINCO told the Global Times that China displayed a new GL5 Active Protection System (APS) designed for main battle tanks during a show in August 2017, and customers can have the system fitted on the Royal thai Army tests Chinese-built VT4 if they require.
According to media reports, Thailand plans to eventually purchase a total of 49 tanks in three batches. The Thai cabinet approved the purchase of 10 VT4 tanks for the second batch in April 2017, replacing the old US-made M-41s. The Thai army has been using the M-41 since World War Two. Thai Army chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart said China and Thailand will build a repair and maintenance center together to ensure the production and maintenance of its accessories.