Ukraine’s state-run defense production firm Ukroboronprom will now finally complete its long-standing contract to supply its advanced Oplot-T battle tanks to Thailand.
“The batch of combat vehicles successfully passed the test in the presence of customers and will soon be sent to the Kingdom of Thailand, Director General of the SC “Ukroboronprom” Pavlo Bukin said after the tests. The last several tanks will be shipped to Thailand soon, Bukin said.
After the sale is complete, Ukroboronprom plans to begin producing Oplots for the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Ukraine had vowed to produce up to 49 new advanced tanks for Thailand as part of a US$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. By late 2016, Ukroboronprom had managed to produce only 25 vehicles out of 49, according to official figures.
“The contract was fulfilled despite Russia’s unfair competition and military aggression. We are grateful to our strategic partners from Thailand for a wise understanding of the problems, faced by Ukraine and for their confidence that Ukraine is capable of overcoming the artificial obstacles, raised in our relationship,” said Pavlo Bukin.