Natural result: the Thai army refused the contract with Ukraine for the supply tanks Oplot-T. And if it was recognized in Ukraine, then the fact is a fait accompli. Although for a long time, the Ukrainian media announced all reports appearing on this topic as intrigues of external enemies. And Ukraine and Thailand have full understanding and agreement. You just need to understand the complexity of the situation.
And so it all started with a message on the Interfax Ukraine website with reference to the press service of the plant.
Kharkiv state enterprise "Malyshev Plant" has repeatedly disrupted the delivery dates under this contract. And Thailand's patience is over. This was stated by the Minister of Defense Rule Wongsumon.
The contract for the supply of MBT "Oplot" was concluded in the distant 2011 year. Ukraine pledged to the end of 2014 of the year to supply the Thai army with 49 tanks totaling $ 241 million. However, the events in Ukraine have become a brake on the fulfillment of the contract. Ukraine was able to deliver the first (and, apparently, the last) 20 machines only in 2016 year. The fate of the remaining 29 is not known. More precisely: not known to the general public. About this below.
Be that as it may, Thailand was really interested in buying tanks that fully met the requirements of their army. Moreover, the fact that the country agreed to a delay in deliveries is quite indicative. However, today the situation in the world has changed. And the situation in Ukraine, too.
The fact is that to supply high-quality tanks "Plant named after Malyshev" today is not capable physically. In the Ukrainian press there have been several reports about the press conference of the director of the information and analytical center "The Third Sector" Andrei Zolotarev.
"Thailand’s tank contract. It took an elementary thing - to grind the ring under the shoulder strap of the tower. There are machines, money came from the customer, and there are no more people who could do the work of the highest precision."
In this phrase, probably, the state of the majority of Ukrainian enterprises is expressed. We are accustomed to the fact that "Ukrainian industry has great potential." Deeply hammered into our heads, "Ukraine possesses the most qualified engineering and working staff at defense enterprises" puts pressure on the brain. However, the path of Ukraine in defense production is almost the same as that of Russia. But that is - "almost."
Recall the very recent past of our defense enterprises. Yes, it seemed to work. It seems that the frames were saved. And when it was necessary to drastically increase production, when the Ministry of Defense began to order equipment and weapons more actively, it turned out that enterprises for the most part lost skilled personnel. Indeed, there was almost no one to produce a new technique. Remember the attempts to return pensioners to factories. Remember the happiness of the directors who were able to fulfill the GOZ by the end of the year.
Even today, when many enterprises have revived their vocational schools, when universities are focused on specific orders of enterprises and are working to increase the number of specialists for such enterprises, we feel a shortage of specialists. And we will feel more than one year. The main thing was lost. The principle of continuity of the profession was lost. When a young specialist on arrival at the plant fell into the hands of a mentor. Yes, such that even engineers and designers listened and consulted with him. The young specialist was proud of his profession. And the profession helped him solve all material problems.
For Ukraine today, the Russian version is not acceptable. Universities and secondary schools are no longer able to quickly solve this problem. When, instead of technically literate teachers, politically correct leaders took the first roles, the training potential was lost. Restore it - it's not one year. And is it possible? Scientists and designers for the most part have either left for other countries, or have "retired" and have fallen behind in their knowledge of modernity.
It seems to me that specialists from Thailand also saw this problem. After all, many times the leadership of the Kharkov plant has motivated its requests to postpone the delivery of tanks by the deterioration of the situation in the ATO zone. The plant allegedly gave products to the front. To fight the terrorists. But, today Thailand owns a large fleet of tanks "Oplot" than the Ukrainian army. After all, the entire 10 of such machines has been delivered to the front all the time. 10 vs. Thai 20!
I think that foreign friends of Ukraine contributed to the preservation of the contract at such a pace of its implementation. More precisely, overseas. American politicians led by Obama had a lot of “leverage”. And it seems that these "levers" they used repeatedly. Otherwise, how can one explain such “appeasability” of the government? The absence of penalties and so on. In business, and the sale of tanks is primarily a business, such things are punished mercilessly.
And the second fact, which speaks in favor of this version, is the quick response of the Thai Ministry of Defense to the changing political situation in the United States. While the situation with the elections and the ensuing fuss was not clear, the Ministry of Defense of Thailand was sitting peacefully on the chairs, waiting. But as soon as it became clear that Trump is a fact, and for a long time, the work went at such a pace that even the finest European businessmen felt dizzy.
The Army Committee of Thailand, whose duties are precisely the issues of procurement of weapons and equipment, quickly decides on the reduction of Ukrainian supplies and the search for new suppliers. The Minister of Defense immediately visits China. Notice, not the price lists for the sale of tanks is studying, and goes to a specific country for a specific purpose. How much time is needed just to prepare such a visit?
So what is next? Further generally unbelievable for the eastern markets. Wongsumon signs a contract for the supply of X-Numx Chinese tanks VT-28. Moreover, China is becoming a consultant for Thailand on investment in tank construction and the use of machines! And this means complete control over the market of this country. Ukraine now has to quickly forget about this country.
Today on the official website of the “Malyshev Plant” a sluggish attempt to refute the breach of contract has been published. Officially, Thailand has not sent any alerts about this. So, there is hope. So, theoretically, the contract is still in force. Moreover, the plant director announces the delivery in a short time of the new party "Oplotov" receivers from Thailand.
In fact, even if a contract is fulfilled in some part, Thailand will not lose anything. It is clear that Ukraine will not be able to deliver 29 machines. But let five or ten cars with great tension will give. In addition to the 20 already available - this is quite a decent unit is obtained. And Chinese tanks will be supplied for other parts. Plus, the help of the Chinese in creating their own tank building.
Thailand, in any case, perfectly “got out” of the pit into which the Ukrainian contract pushed him. But Ukraine’s conclusions can already be made. And not about Thailand. And about the support of "the whole world with us" and "of all civilized humanity." Once again I am convinced of the simple and old as the world of truth. While you are strong and able to hit back, you are respected. Or at least they are afraid.
But as soon as you turn into nothing, they even forget to say hello to you. Who will pay attention to the empty space?
A good “food for thought” is clear to anyone.
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