Army takes delivery of first Strykers from US
published : 12 Sep 2019 at 13:10
writer: Wassana Nanuam
The Royal Thai Army on Thursday officially received the first batch of US-made Stryker armoured infantry carriers.
Army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong accepted the handover of the 10 Strykers by Gen Robert Brown, the US Army Pacific commander, at the Royal Thai Army headquarters in Bangkok.
The new troop carriers will be stationed at the 11th Infantry Regiment, which is a model for other army barracks with modern weaponry and a lean workforce, according to the army announcement.
The army struck a deal to buy 37 “refurbished” US-made Stryker armoured vehicles for US$80 million. Under the contract, the US Army will give Thailand 23 more Strykers for free, bringing the number to 60 in total.
The first two of the armoured personnel carriers arrived on a Starlifter aircraft at Don Mueang Air Force base on Aug 29. The rest of the APCs will be delivered by the end of this year.
Gen Apirat said on Aug 29 that the US is also providing technical assistance in the repair and maintenance of the vehicles.
Originally manufactured by the Michigan-based General Dynamics Land Systems, the 60 armoured vehicles saw US Army service before being assigned as reserve armour, and then sold as surplus.
The Thai armed forces are trying to balance their defence relations with their long-time ally, the US, and Asian powerhouse China.
The Royal Thai Navy announced this week it will buy a landing platform dock from China to improve its amphibious operations abilities and take some of the load off HTMS Angthong, currently the only naval vessel with this capacity.