Ukraine confirmed its readiness to cooperate with Thailand in armored vehicles production, particularly with the transfer of technology for producing BTR-3E1 armored personnel carriers. On Friday, the government announced the venture on the official website of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC).
During the meeting of First Deputy Secretary of the NSDC Oleg Gladkovsky with the official delegation of the Ministry of Defense of Thailand, headed by Deputy Minister Udomdej Sitabutr, the Thai representatives expressed interest in continuing cooperation and considered Ukraine a reliable, long-term partner with significant potential in the defense industrial sector. Gladkovsky mentioned Ukraine’s unconditional fulfillment of the current agreement to supply Oplot main battle tanks.
During the visit, the Thai delegation visited the State Enterprise Malyshev Plant, Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB) and the Kiev Armor Repair Plant.
The Oplot battle tank, created by KMDB and commissioned by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine was adopted by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In May 2009, the Ukrainian army was provided with the first two tanks. In 2011, a $200-million contract was negotiated to supply 49 new generation Ukrainian Oplot main battle tanks to Thailand; in April 2012, State Enterprise Malyshev Plant started the realization of the contract. Launching the mass production of Oplot battle tanks, according to the plant, cost $30 million. The first five tanks were shipped to Thailand in early 2014. According to Interfax-Ukraine agency sources in the defense sector, the Thai contract is set to be completed before the end of 2016.
Since 2010, Ukraine has also supplied the BTR-3E1 to Thailand under contracts signed in 2006 and 2011, which total about $270 million for the supply of 233 units before 2015. The final batch of armored vehicles under the 2011 contract, consisting of 11 APCs, was shipped in March 2016. In 2015, at the Defense & Security-2015 international defense exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand and Ukraine signed a framework agreement on the organization of an SKD (semi-knocked down) assembly of Ukrainian BTR-3E1 APCs and its modifications in Thailand.