The Royal Thai Army has launched the procedure for the acquisition of ‘refurbished’ M1126 Stryker infantry combat vehicles, according to a report by the Bangkok Post.
According to daily newspaper citing the Thai Army’s source, the Royal Thai Armed Force has struck a deal to buy 37 ‘refurbished’ Stryker armoured vehicles, worth $80 million, from the United States.
Also noted that 23 combat vehicles will be transferred as funded by US military assistance.
Stryker is a family of eight-wheel-drive combat vehicles that can travel at speeds up to 62 mph on highways, with a range of 312 miles. Introduced in 2000, the eight-wheeled, medium-weight Stryker provides versatility, survivability, lethality and maneuverability.
Stryker vehicle configurations include the nuclear, chemical and biological reconnaissance vehicle; anti-tank guided missile and medical evacuation vehicles; and carriers for mortars, engineer squads, infantry squads, command groups, and fire support teams.
Meanwhile, the package includes communication systems as well as weapons, the hangar, practice field development, spare parts and maintenance.
It was earlier expected the Thai army might make a further purchase of Chinese-made VN1 armoured personnel carriers, but army chief Apirat Kongsompong managed to secure a deal with the US, the source said.
Gen Apirat has attended many military training programmes and activities in the US. The relationship between the Thai and US armies is said to be strong under his leadership, with the participation of Thai soldiers in a joint training exercise called Lightning Forge 2019 in Hawaii among activities designed to cement the bond.
The programme is expected to progress through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) mechanism, with the first batch of Stryker ICVs delivered by late 2019. The Strykers will be sent to the Chachoengsao-based 11th Infantry Division.