The Ukrainian BTR-3E1 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) delivered to the Royal Thai Army (RTA) excelled during the recently concluded Exercise Kocha Singa 2012 with the Singapore Armed Force (SAF).
According to Interfax-Ukraine, the Thai government is satisfied with performance of the armoured vehicles as well as bilateral military and technical cooperation with Ukraine.
Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said: “we are satisfied with the cooperation with Ukroboronprom and in general with Ukraine, which is one of the leading producers of armored equipment.”
During a competition between eight vehicles from the two sides, the Ukrainian BRT-3E1 vehicles out-performed Singapore Army’s Terrex AV81 infantry carrier vehicles.
An upgraded version of the BTR-3EAPC, the BTR-3E1 is an 8×8 wheeled combat vehicle designed to carry infantry troops, arms and supplies on the battlefield while providing fire support from a turret mounted 30mm automatic gun.
Powered by a diesel engine UTD-20 mounted at the rear, the fully amphibious vehicle can also be configured to carry out reconnaissance, combat support, and patrol missions.
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The Thai Army had initially placed an order for a total of 96 BTR-3E1 series vehicles in 2007 and the deliveries were completed in early 2009.
The second batch of additional 121 vehicles was ordered by the army under a $140m contract and 14 BTR-3E1s were also ordered for use of the Royal Thai Marine Corps.
According to Thai media reports, the amount of contracts for the supply of armed vehicles, particularly Oplot Main Battle Tanks and BTR-3E1 APCs exceeds $500m.
Kocha Singa 2012, 14th in the series, also provided an opportunity for the two armies to strengthen the professionalism and mutual understanding among personnel.
The annual bilateral army exercise was held from 20 March to 5 April 2012 in Thailand, and included professional interactions and exchanges in motorised infantry operations, and culminated in a combined live firing exercise.