Thailand to buy $ 211 million of foreign arms

Written by:
Subscribe to Oneindia News

BANGKOK, Sep25 (Reuters) Thailand's post-coup government has approved the 6.7 billion baht (211 million dollars ) purchase of Israeli guns, Ukrainian armoured vehicles and Chinese missiles, a cabinet spokesman said today.

The army would spend 960 million baht on 15,000 rifles and 259 million baht on 992 sub-machine guns from Israel, Nattawat Suthiyothin said after a cabinet meeting.

The cabinet also approved 3.9 billion baht for 96 Ukraine-built BTR-3E1 armoured personnel vehicles, produced by state-owned Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau, after heavy lobbying by Russia, China, and Canada failed.

The navy would pay 1.6 billion baht for ground-to-ground missiles from China, Nattawat said without giving further details.

The military, which ousted elected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a bloodless coup last year, has faced criticism for buying new equipment at a time when Thailand's economic growth has slowed due to post-coup political uncertainties.

Defence Minister Boonrawd Somtas told Reuters last month the military needed new tanks, ships, fighter jets and helicopters after the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis had capped annual defence spending at 80 billion baht in the past decade.

Next year's budget allocates 143 billion baht to defence spending.


Please Wait while comments are loading...