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.
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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.
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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.