B565m missile deal mooted

Thailand is considering buying nine missiles from the United States in a deal worth an estimated $18 million or 565 million baht, according to reports from Washington.

The UPI news agency reported that the sale would involve Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles through the US Foreign Military Sales programme.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, in a notification this week to Congress, said Thailand was seeking nine missiles, which are used for ship-borne anti-missile and anti-aircraft defence.

"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by increasing the ability of Thailand to contribute to regional security and improving interoperability with the US military in operational and exercise scenarios," UPI quoted the agency as saying.

"It is consistent with US national interests to assist Thailand in developing and maintaining a strong and ready ship self-defence capability, which will contribute to the military balance in the area."

In addition to the nine missiles, UPI said Thailand was seeking three MK25 Quad Pack canisters; four MK783 shipping containers; spare and repair parts; support and test equipment; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment.

The prime contractors would be Raytheon Missile Systems and BAE Systems.