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Thailand Army Tests Domestic Lithium-Ion Batteries for VT-4 Main Battle Tank and Stingray Light Tank

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Thailand Army Tests Domestic Lithium-Ion Batteries for VT-4 Main Battle Tank and Stingray Light Tank

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Thailand Army Tests Domestic Lithium-Ion Batteries for VT-4 Main Battle Tank and Stingray Light Tank
Thailand Army Tests Domestic Lithium-Ion Batteries for VT-4 Main Battle Tank and Stingray Light Tank

The Army Research and Development Office (ARDO) of the Royal Thai Army, in collaboration with Khon Kaen University, recently conducted tests on domestic lithium-ion batteries for VT-4 main battle tank and Stingray light tank. The testing took place at Camp Sripatcharin in the Khon Kaen Province, Thailand, from February 2 to 15, 2024. Funding for the lithium-ion battery research and development program was provided by the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation of Thailand (OPS MHESI) for the 2022 fiscal year. The lithium-ion battery research and development project, led by the ARDO and Khon Kaen University, aimed to evaluate the performance of these batteries in the VT-4 main battle tank and Stingray light tank.

Domestic lthium-ion batteries for VT-4 main battle tank
Domestic lthium-ion batteries for VT-4 main battle tank. (Photo by ARDO)

This initiative is part of Thailand’s broader research projects focused on developing and manufacturing lithium-ion batteries. The objective is to create innovative, locally-produced lithium-ion batteries suitable for various applications, ranging from powering electronic devices to electric vehicles. The VT-4 main battle tank and Stingray light tank are deployed in the 6th Cavalry Battalion, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Cavalry Division. Traditionally, lead-acid batteries have been used in heavy vehicles to supply electrical power. However, the lithium-ion battery trials have demonstrated increased autonomy by developing a more efficient electric power system.

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Domestic lthium-ion battery pack
Domestic lthium-ion battery pack. (Photo by ARDO)

The Stingray, sometimes known as the Commando Stingray, is a light tank produced by Textron Marine & Land Systems division (formerly Cadillac Gage). It was specifically designed to use as many existing components of other American armored fighting vehicles as possible to keep costs down. Its cruise speed is 44 mph (71 km/h). Maximum grade is 60%. The maximum vertical distance it can scale is 2.7 feet (82 cm). It can ford water up to 3.5 feet (107 cm). It is air transportable in a C-130 cargo aircraft. The Stingray was a private venture project aimed at foreign countries. As of 2020, Textron has kept the Stingray name registered. It was exported for use by armed forces of Thailand, who remain the only user.

Domestic lthium-ion batteries for Stingray light tank.
Domestic lthium-ion batteries for Stingray light tank. (Photo by ARDO)

The VT-4 (MBT-3000) is a Chinese modernized main battle tank built by Norinco for overseas export. The VT-4 shares many subsystems technology and features from other latest Chinese main battle tanks such as Type 96B and Type 99A. Key examples are an automatic transmission system, 125 mm smoothbore cannon, muzzle reference system, FY-4 ERA, carousel-style autoloader, and overall geometry. The VT-4 has a ZPT-98A 125 mm smoothbore gun capable of firing APFSDS, HEAT and HE rounds and gun-launched anti-tank guided missiles. There is also a remote controlled weapon station on the turret armed with a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun. The VT-4 uses a locally produced 1,200 hp (895 kW) VT/E1 diesel engine with torsion bar suspension and an Ch1000B automatic transmission.

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