Janes Defense reports five Oplots were presented to Thai officials at the plant in eastern Ukraine, according to a statement on the Ukroboronprom (Ukrainian Defence Industries) website. T-84-derived BM Oplot main battle tanks (MBTs) was handed over to the Royal Thai Army (RTA) by the Kharkiv Malyshev Plant (KMP) on 15 October. Thailand agreed to buy 49 Oplot MBTs to replace its ageing M41 light tanks in a deal finalised in September 2011. At the time, IHS Jane’s reported that the deal was believed to be valued at THB7.2 billion (USD230 million), with payment to be sourced through Thailand’s defence budget over the next three years.
In March 2011, the Royal Thai Army placed an order for 49 T-84s to replace its fleet of aging M41A3 Walker Bulldog light tanks. Up to 200 tanks may eventually be acquired. However, the Royal Thai Army had yet to make an official announcement. The government had just approved 7.155 billion baht to purchase the first 49 Oplot tanks to be assigned to several units: the 2nd cavalry battalion (Royal Guard at Fort Chakkraphongse, Prachinburi), the 4th cavalry battalion (Royal Guard at Kiakkai, Bangkok), the 8th cavalry battalion (Fort Suranari, Nakhon Ratchasima), and the 9th cavalry battalion (Fort Ekathotsarot, Phitsanuloke). The first T-84 Oplot will be delivered to be tested at Cavalry Center at Fort Adisorn, Saraburi in mid-2013 and during the official procurement. The factory in Ukraine had offered the extra 5 T-84 Oplot in addition to the first 49 Oplot tanks. On January 5, 2013, it was announced that the first 5 T-84s would be delivered by May 2013 for training purposes. Another 50 will be delivered by the end of 2015, with 200 total ordered.
The T-84 is a Ukrainian main battle tank, a development of the Soviet T-80 main battle tank. It was first built in 1994 and entered service in the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 1999. The T-84 is based on the diesel-engined T-80 version, the T-80UD. Its high-performance opposed piston engine makes it one of the fastest MBTs in the world, with a power-to-weight ratio of about 26 horsepower per tonne (19 kW/t). The T-84 Oplot is an advanced version incorporating an armoured ammunition compartment in a new turret bustle; ten of these entered Ukrainian service in 2001. The T-84-120 Yatagan is a prototype model intended for export, mounting a 120 mm gun capable of firing standard NATO ammunition and guided missiles. (Source)
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