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Thailand shows interest in purchasing Russian armored vehicles

Thailand is also interested in other kinds of equipment - in particular, the air defense systems

LANGKAWI (Malaysia), March 22. /TASS/. Thailand is showing interest in Russian-made armored vehicles, the director for international cooperation and regional policy at Russia's defense industry conglomerate Rostec told reporters on Wednesday.

"I do not rule out the possibility of cooperation in the field of armored vehicles, since Thailand is showing considerable interest in it," said Viktor Kladov who heads the joint delegation of Rostec and state arms exporter Rosoboronexport at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA-2017) in Malaysia.

According to Kladov, Thailand is also interested in other Russian equipment, specifically, air defense systems, the Mil Mi-17 helicopters, the Yakovlev Yak-130, the Sukhoi Su-30 and the Beriev Be-200 aircraft.

Therefore, the situation is changing, he added. "There are some psychological barriers in Thailand, as some of the military were trained in US academies. However, the country is currently showing considerable interest in Russian equipment, since it is not only as good as US-made but also cheaper and more reliable," he stressed. 

Superjet contract  

Russia is successfully fulfilling the contract to supply three Sukhoi Superjet SSJ-100 aircraft to Thailand’s Defense Ministry:

"To date, two aircraft have been delivered. The third one will be delivered in accordance with the contract. The planes are intended for transportation of the country’s top officials," Viktor Kladov has noted. 

He added that some Thai airlines are also showing interest in purchasing the Superjet planes. "The issue is being discussed with the Thai side," Kladov said. 

Reports of new deal on Mi-7 helicopters 

The contract to supply another batch of Russian Mil Mi-17V-5 helicopters to Thailand could be signed at an early date, a source in the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation informed TASS.

"Negotiations on the delivery of the Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopters to the Kingdom of Thailand are in the final stage. The draft contract has been agreed on, and we hope to sign it in the near future," he said.

The source added that no talks are underway with Thailand regarding potential contracts on other types of weapons. "This being said, we are ready for a constructive dialogue and for presenting some modern samples of our military equipment to our partners," he noted.

The Royal Thai Armed Forces purchased Russia’s Mi-17V-5 helicopters in the past. Some media reports said that Bangkok is satisfied with their operational experience. In light of this, Thai representatives expressed willingness to purchase a few more of them.

The Mi-8MTV-5/Mi-17V-5 helicopters are intended for transporting both manpower and cargo. They can be used during rescue operations and are also capable of carrying armaments.