Thailand has announced plans to buy 120 American armored vehicles. The delivery will be completed by 2020, with the first batch of 10 arriving in September 2019. Ministerial sources have revealed that Thailand paid for 47 vehicles and the US would supply 23 free as part of the 2019 purchase, while 50 more will be bought in 2020. The US will also help the Thai army in the maintenance of the vehicles.
This deal represents a reversal of the United States’ policy, which had curbed military aid to Thailand following a 2014 army coup. Relations are improving after civilian rule was restored under former military government leader, Prayut Chan-o-cha, following elections in April 2019.
The US has been a major supplier of military equipment, including Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 fighter jets and Black Hawk helicopters to Thailand historically. But under junta rule, Thailand purchases tanks and infantry fighting vehicles from China and planned to set up a joint center with China to produce and maintain military gear.
(Source: Bangkok Post)