MELBOURNE, Australia — The U.S. State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to Thailand of 60 Stryker infantry carrier vehicles, potentially making the southeast Asian kingdom the first non-U.S. user of the wheeled armored vehicle.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency issued a notification to Congress of this possible sale on July 26, 2019. It would also include equipment and support, with an estimated cost of $175 million. The principal contractor for the Stryker vehicle will be General Dynamics Land Systems, which is also the manufacturer of the Stryker.
These additional equipment and support include 60 M2 Flex 50-caliber machine guns, four M6 smoke grenade launchers per vehicle, the AN/VAS-5 Driver’s Vision Enhancer, the AN/VIC-3 vehicle inter-communications system, spare parts, special tools and test equipment, and other related elements of logistics and program support.
David McKeeby, a spokesman for the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, told Defense News that “most if not all” of the Strykers destined for Thailand will be refurbished vehicles.
Reports in May indicated the 60 vehicles Thailand requested will be made up of 37 refurbished U.S. Army M1126 Stryker eight-wheel drive infantry carrier vehicles, with the remaining 23 to be given under a military assistance program. The reported cost varied between $80 million and $94 million.
Thailand, a U.S. ally in the region, has in recent years bought a number of armored vehicles from China, including tanks and infantry fighting vehicles. Major U.S. arms sales to the kingdom have been in limbo due to a military government being in power following a coup in 2014, only transitioning to a civilian government following elections in March this year.
Mike Yeo is the Asia correspondent for Defense News.