BANGKOK, -- Thailand has so far not planned to buy Russian tanks as earlier reported by the media, said a deputy Thai defense minister on Tuesday.
Deputy Defense Minister Gen. Udomdej Sitabutra categorically dismissed news reports that the Thai army has planned to purchase T-14 Armata and T-90 main battle tanks from Russia, though a group of army officers was earlier said to have visited Uralvagonzavod tank manufacturing plant in Nizhny Tagil city.
The former army chief did not either confirm or deny the hearsay about the alleged army delegation to Russia but denied such plans have ever existed.
"There has been no such thing as talk over any Russian tanks as far as the army was concerned," Udomdej said.
The Thai army has procured 10 T-84 Oplot main battle tanks from Ukraine with a backlog order for about 40 others.
One T-14 or T-90 main battle tank reportedly costs a range of 3.7 million to 4.5 million U.S. dollars.
The Royal Thai Army T-84 Oplot-M main battle tank.