Over in Thailand, the Norinco VT-4 main battle tank (MBT) defeated the Russian T-90 MBT for a $150 million, 28 tank contract for the Royal Thai Army (RTA). If satisfied, the RTA will exercise an option to purchase another 153 VT-4 MBTs. While such a victory may not be such a surprise given that Thailand's two major allies are the United States and China, the RTA has clearly judged the VT-4 to be at least technologically equal to the T-90. The VT-4 is a 53 ton MBT, sharing many technologies such as armor and fire control with the larger ZTZ-99A, China's largest and best tank. Norinco's victory may also be in part due to Thailand's government wishing to solidify security and economic ties with China, though Bangkok has also made a recent effort to improve ties with Russia. China's ability to keep its share of the Thai weapons market in spite of competitive Russian offerings suggests that the Chinese armor industry is addressing historical weaknesses in propulsion, fire control, and protection.