Thai-made armoured vehicles and pistols delivered to Bhutan

Image courtesy of The Nation

In a momentous event overseen by Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang, a ceremony unfolded today to transfer a cache of arms to Bhutan’s police force. The consignment included 10 armoured vehicles and 230 pistols, all manufactured by two Thai companies.

Set against the backdrop of the Defence Ministry‘s permanent secretary office building, the ceremony symbolised the strong defence cooperation between Thailand and Bhutan.

The Bhutanese ambassador to Thailand stood as representative, accepting the weapons produced by two Thai firms through collaborative efforts with the Defence Technology Institute, a prominent arm of the Defence Ministry.

Among the arsenal of weapons handed over were 10 First Win 4×4 armoured tactical vehicles, built by Thai Defense Industry Co Ltd (TDI) in partnership with the institute.

In addition to the armoured vehicles, 230 pistols produced by Weapons Manufacturing Industries Co Ltd (WMI) were also delivered.

Minister Sutin articulated his conviction that the export of these weapons, crafted by Thai firms in conjunction with the institute, would serve to bolster confidence in Thailand’s defence industry.

Defence sector developments

He underscored the pivotal role played by the institute in advancing the nation’s defence sector, citing this export endeavour as a testament to its significance.

At the delivery ceremony, the Chief Executive of TDI, Nopparat represented her company. Widely recognised as Madame Tank on the global stage, Nopparat disclosed Bhutan’s intentions to deploy the 10 armoured vehicles in its peacekeeping efforts in Central Africa.

Highlighting TDI’s longstanding collaboration with Bhutan, she recalls the delivery of 45 armoured vehicles to the Arab state back in 2001.

Furthermore, Nopparat disclosed promising developments, including the Philippines’ expressed interest in procuring 900 armoured vehicles from TDI, with an initial order of 200 vehicles.

Notably, Nopparat also serves as Vice President of Chaiseri Metal and Rubber Company, which has supplied armoured vehicles to the militaries of 46 other nations.

Emphasising the advanced design features of the armoured vehicles, she mentioned the incorporation of shielded tops to fortify defences against drone attacks.

Local interest

She also revealed keen interest from local security agencies, including the Internal Operation Command, Royal Thai Navy, and Border Patrol Police Bureau, in acquiring armoured vehicles from her company.

The vehicles passed standards established by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) for protecting occupants of logistical and light-armoured vehicles.

Further testament to Thailand’s prowess in arms manufacturing, Nopparat disclosed Bhutan’s procurement of 30 MI-9 9mm pistols and 200 MI-47 7.62mm pistols from WMI, underscoring the nation’s expanding footprint in the global arms market, reported The Nation.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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