Initial US approval for sale of Strykers to Thai army

Initial US approval for sale of Strykers to Thai army

An M1126 Stryker armoured vehicle.
An M1126 Stryker armoured vehicle.

The US State Department has approved the possible sale to Thailand of 60 Stryker armoured infantry carrier vehicles with equipment and support for an estimated cost of US$175 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced.

Congress was notified  of the possible sale on July 26, the statement said.

The Thai government is seeking to buy 60 of the eight-wheeled Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles and 60 M2 Flex .50 cal machine guns.

 Also included are spare parts, M6 smoke grenade launchers (4 per vehicle) and driver's vision enhancers, spare parts and logistics support, the announcement said. The total estimated program cost is $175 million (about 5.4 billion baht)

"This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve security of a Major Non-NATO ally in INDO-PACOM, which is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the region," the statement said.

"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."

There are no known offset agreements proposed.

The sale still needs congressional approval.

The Royal Thai Army announced in May it had struck a deal to buy 37 "refurbished"  M1126 Stryker armoured vehicles  from the United States at a cost of US$80 million.

There is no mention of the May "deal" on the Defence Security Cooperation Agency list of arms sales, and it is reported to be part of the 60-vehicle procurement.

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