The repurposing of military equipment is a necessary step if one wants to keep a fully-functioning country. In the first place, no equipment is meant to last indefinitely. In the event that equipment does become effectively useless in the purpose for which they were initially intended, the industrious nation and their leaders should (and sometimes do) find better uses for these pieces of equipment when necessary. This was the case when we re-purposed the
69 Type-69 tanks in order to properly execute her Majesty the Queen’s Royally-Initiated Coastal
While it’s true that those tanks were far past their prime-- indeed, we've been de-commissioning the T-69s since 2004-- they do represent a pivotal development in modern history.
The development of the Type 69 tank dates back to the so-called Sino-Soviet split in 1961. Until that point, the two largest communist states shared military and diplomatic ties that were thought to strengthen the eastern bloc as a whole. As the Soviets and Chinese drifted apart ideologically, their military relationship was also severed. by 1963, China’s inner-Mongolia First Machine Group Co. Ltd. were given the appointment to improve on old soviet models left behind from their alliance. It was from this appointment that the improved model, the T-69, was born. Among those improvements were a search light and an improved engine and artillery. We began to purchase these rugged tanks in the early eighties, eventually amassing 72 of them both for use and salvage as the needs arose.
Why did we buy such a large number of these tanks, you ask? the truth is simple: in the first place, the Chinese are, in a very real sense, a kindred nation insofar as a large portion of our nation’s population can find its origins there. Then there’s the matter of cost: the PLA was able to give the Royal Thai Army a very reasonable rate for these vehicles, and we wisely took advantage of their offer.
Times do change, however. As time passed and technology advanced, the T-69 fast became an outmoded combat tank. Not only that, but because these tanks were no longer a representation of the contemporary best on the market, gradually their manufacturers stopped being able to provide spare parts for the machines in disrepair. These tanks were eventually of no use to anyone in the purpose for which they were originally designed.
Eventually, however, a use for these tanks have been found, While the country busies itself with rebuilding from last year’s devastating floods on a structural level, some of Her Majesty the Queen’s more philanthropic ventures have also begun to bear fruit. As such, the Type-69s were put along coastlines as an effort to provide more biodiversity and tourism draw for some of our coastal regions. The tanks were placed along the coasts of some of our provinces as an
inventive form of artificial reefing.
The choice of the tanks to use as such artificial coral is, at first glance,an odd one: in the first place, tanks are best suited for the ground, not the water. In the second, most defunction obsolete vessels re-purposed as artificial reef for tourism purposes are boats and ships. There’s only one problem with sinking obsolete ships for this purpose: it’s too predictable for tourists. On a biological level, the actual vessels that create the artificial reef are really immaterial: algae doesn't care whether it attaches itself to a boat or a tank, so long as the surface to which it attaches itself is a hard one. For that matter, the new breed of fish now coming in by the droves to feast on these algae and plankton, adding a boon to the fisheries that were devastated by last year’s flooding, don’t care what structures look like to lay their eggs or find their food, either: they only care that the structures offer a ready source of food and shelter.
Ultimately, the Type 69 tanks were retired as instruments of war and re-enlisted as instruments of peace and relaxation, The simple act of putting these tanks into the waters around our coasts leaves a legacy behind for this generation of our Army and the Royal Family as a whole to last for generations to come.
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