The Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC) Marine Assault Amphibian Battalion demonstrated the sea-to-shore operation capabilities of its Chinese-made NORINCO VN16 light amphibious tank was also brought to demonstrate amphibious operations in conjunction with the 12 US-made AAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicles of the RTMC Amphibious Vehicle Battalion that has been modernized by Chaiseri Metal & Rubber Co. Ltd. 1st-year military preparatory students, class 64, AFAPS (Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School), discovered the operation capabilities of Royal Thai Marine Corps Vehicles Krom Luang Chumphon Camp, Sattahip District, Chonburi Province, on December 16, 2021. The
The Royal Thai Marine Corps is the second export customer for the VN16, following the Venezuelan Bolivarian Marine Corps, supplied with the VN18 amphibious infantry fighting vehicle, the export version of Type 05 (ZTD-05) Amphibious Assault Vehicle that the Chinese Marines have. Which the Marine Corps Royal Thai Navy there has been a need for a new tank to replace five Type 69-II main tanks long after it was unable to supply 15 LT-105 ASCOD (Austrian Spanish Cooperation Development) light tanks from Spain in the 1990s due to defense budget cuts due to the economic crisis in 1997.
The Thai government’s public procurement service said in a notice on 10 September 2020 that Norinco has been selected by the Royal Thai Navy for the acquisition, with a bid price of THB398.1 million (USD13 million). The vehicles Procured from local company Chankasem International, which will act as an importer. The service did not confirm the platform type. However, this is understood to be the VN-16, which Norinco displayed in model form at the Defence and Security defense exhibition in Bangkok in late 2019. Expected in the near future Three Chinese VN16 amphibious assault vehicles will be deployed in the Tank Company, Amphibious Armored Battalion Marine Corps.
The VN16 is an export version of an amphibious light tank ZTD-05 stationed in the People’s Liberation Army Navy-Marine Corps (PLAMC) designed and manufactured by NORINCO. The VN16 amphibious assault vehicle is armed with a 105mm low-recoil rifled gun, a 7.62mm coaxial machinegun, QJC-88 12.7mm anti-aircraft machinegun, and banks of 76 mm grenade launchers. The ZTD-05 assault vehicle variant replaces the obsolete Type 63A amphibious tank introduced in the late 1990s. The VN16 has been compared to the canceled United States Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program. The amphibious light tank was designed for China by the Russian Tula KBP bureau.