Ukraine’s state-owned defence holding, UkrOboronProm, has successfully completed a contract worth more than $240 million for supply Oplot-T main battle tanks to Thailand. The contract was fulfilled despite Russia’s unfair competition and military aggression.
Thai contract” implementation allowed Ukraine to receive currency revenues to the budget and load the production capacities of UkrOboronProm (UOP) enterprises. Having fulfilled the export contract with Thailand, the State Concern aims for the production of tanks for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The “Oplot” tank – passed into service in 2009 – requires renovation of some components, as important technological innovations emerged during this time. At the same time, the Armed Forces and UOP enterprises gained experience in operating the military equipment in the ATO zone.
The new “Oplot” tanks are being carried out in accordance with research and development works that are being currently coordinated with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. These works also include a significant T-64 upgrade – operated in the Ukrainian Army – for unification with the “Oplot” tanks. The achieved level of fit-out will be further applied for T-64 main battle tanks modernization. Such unification will significantly reduce “Oplot” production cost and reduce the cost of T-64 modernization.
The Oplot is fitted with Duplet (Nozh-2) built-in Explosive Reactive Armor (ERA) of new generation, that protects against tandem warheads. It is claimed to be superior to the Russian Kontakt 5 ERA armor. The tank is fitted with Shtora countermeasures system, which reduced hit probability of enemy ATGW with semi-automatic guidance. It has been reported that this MBT can also be fitted with Zaslon active protection system. The Oplot main battle tank is armed with a 125 mm fully-stabilized smoothbore gun, fitted with a carousel-type autoloader. Vehicle is capable of firing 9K119M Reflex (NATO Designation AT-11 Sniper-B) gun-launched anti-tank guided missiles. These missiles are launched in the same manner as ordinary munitions. Maximum range of fire is 5 000 m. A total of 40 rounds are carried inside the hull.
The Oplot-T is an export version for Thailand. It has some minor modifications to meet local requirements, such as different radio, air conditioner and so on. A contract with Thailand was concluded in 2011 to the tune of over $240 million for the supply of 49 Oplot tanks. In April 2012, the Malyshev Machine plant began working on the contract. The Oplot tank was developed by the Kharkiv-based Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau and produced by Kharkiv-based Malyshev plant.