The firdt two BTR-3E1 delivered with Il-76 aircraft(photo : Daily News)
BANGKOK, September 16 (Xinhua) -- The first two Ukraine-made BTR- 3E1 armored personnel carriers (APCs) are due to be delivered on Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft to U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield on Friday before sending to 2nd Infantry Division for initial inspection, local media reported.
The remaining 94 APCs will be delivered by the end of 2011.
Royal Thai Armed Force ordered 96 APCs from Ukraine in 2007 over the rivals including Canada, China and Russia.
All 96 BTR-3E1 vehicles cost almost 4 billion baht (129.74 million U.S. dollars). Some of them will be deployed to the restive southernmost provinces.
The purchase has drawn fierce criticism of Thai press after Ukraine was selected to supply the vehicles at a cost of nearly 4 billion baht, saying BTR-3E1 was simply upgraded versions of the Russian BTR-70 or 80 APCs and should cost less.