Thai Army to buy and receive refurbished U.S. M1126 Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers

The Royal Thai Army has signed a purchase contract to buy 37 refurbished M1126 Stryker APCs, worth US$80 million, the Bangkok Post reports.

Thai Army to buy and receive refurbished U.S. M1126 Stryker Armored Personnel Carriers
M1126 Stryker (Picture source: U.S. Army /Pfc. Nicholas Vidro, 7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

"Thailand is the first country the US has sold [the Strykers] to," a Thai army source said. "The M1126 Stryker eight-wheeled armored vehicles are touted as a "world class" armament and have been used on many battlefields", the source added. The model should remain in service with the US army until 2030. Meanwhile, the package includes communication systems as well as weapons, the hangar, practice field development, spare parts, and maintenance. Moreover, the US army will give 23 more Strykers to the Thai army for free, bringing the number to 60 in total.

It was earlier expected the Thai army might make a further purchase of Chinese-made vehicles, but army chief Apirat Kongsompong managed to secure a deal with the US, the source said, echoed by the Bangkok Post. Gen. Apirat has attended many military training programmes and activities in the US. The relationship between the Thai and US armies is said to be strong under his leadership, with the participation of Thai soldiers in a joint training exercise called Lightning Forge 2019 in Hawaii among activities designed to cement the bond. The Strykers will be sent to the Chachoengsao-based 11th Infantry Division.

The Stryker is a family of 8x8 armored vehicles derived from the wheeled armored vehicle Canadian LAV III, which in turn was based on the Swiss Mowag Piranha III 8x8, and produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, in use by the United States Army and recently by Iraq. The U.S. Army chose the Stryker to have the ability to deploy a brigade anywhere in the world within 96 hours, a division in 120 hours, and five divisions within 30 days. The Stryker M1126 ICV is the infantry armored personnel carrier vehicle version. The vehicle carries a combat squad of 9 soldiers in the rear compartment.