The Royal Thai Army has received the first batch of Stryker 8×8 armored fighting vehicles from the United States, the U.S. Security Assistance Organization (SAO) in Thailand announced on 29 August.
U.S. Embassy Bangkok confirmed that Stryker armored fighting vehicles were flown to Thailand aboard a C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft on Thursday.
According to the current information, Thailand would receive 70 U.S.-made armored fighting vehicles by the end of the year and 50 more next year but do not give the value of the deal.
A defense ministry source told Reuters that Thailand paid for 47 vehicles and the US would supply 23 free in this year’s purchase, while 50 more will be bought next year. The US will also help the Thai army in the maintenance of the vehicles.
In July 2019, the U.S. State Department had announced a possible Foreign Military Sale to Thailand of 60 Stryker infantry carrier vehicles with equipment and support for an estimated cost of $175 million.
The proposed sale, which was announced by the DSCA on 26 July, covers sixty Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV)and sixty M2 Flex .50 cal machine guns as well as spares, systems, weapons, training, and support. The estimated value is $175 million.
“The Stryker vehicles will increase Thailand’s capability to defend its sovereign territory against traditional and non-traditional threats by filling the capability void between light infantry soldiers and heavy mechanized units. Thailand will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces,” the DSCA said in its approval notification.
According to the DSCA, the principal contractor for the Stryker vehicle is General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, MI.
A wheeled fighting vehicle, the agile, mobile and lethal Stryker bridges the gap between heavy and light army formations.