The Royal Thai Army has confirmed that its procurement of additional Stryker M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicles has been delayed in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The Thai government has asked each ministry to cut its non-urgent and non-committal spending by at least 10 percent.
The Thai army was the latest branch of the armed forces to slash its 2020 budget on Wednesday by about 10 billion baht ($310 million), out of the total of 18 billion baht cut by the Ministry of Defence.
It also halved its planned 900 million baht procurement of over 100 Stryker armoured infantry carriers from the US and suspended purchases of other artillery, army spokesman Winthai Suvaree told a press briefing.
“It’s a high figure compared to other ministries. All the non-committal budgets have been cut,” said Colonel Winthai Suvaree.
Thailand has postponed the planned purchase of another batch of 50 U.S.-made M1126 armored fighting vehicles in the amount of 4.5 billion baht ($140 million) as part of a general budget cut of the Thai Ministry of Defense due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The procurement of the additional vehicles is expected to be delayed until next year.
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.
In August 2019, the Royal Thai Army received the first batch of Stryker armored fighting vehicles from the United States.