Made-in-Thailand armoured vehicles, pistols delivered to Bhutan

MONDAY, MAY 27, 2024

Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang presides over ceremony to hand over locally made weaponry to Bhutan

Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang on Monday presided over a ceremony to hand over to the Bhutanese police 10 armoured vehicles and 230 pistols made by two Thai companies.

The ceremony was held in front of the building housing the office of the permanent secretary of the Defence Ministry.

The Bhutanese ambassador to Thailand represented his government to receive the weapons made by two Thai firms under joint ventures with the Defence Technology Institute, a public organisation of the Defence Ministry.

The 10 “First Win 4x4” armoured tactical vehicles were made by the Thai Defense Industry (TDI) under a joint venture with the institute, while the pistols were produced by Weapons Manufacturing Industries (WMI).

Made-in-Thailand armoured vehicles, pistols delivered to Bhutan

Sutin said the exports of weapons made by the two Thai firms under the joint venture with the institute would boost confidence in the Thai defence industry.

He said the exports also proved the significance of the institute’s role in boosting the country’s defence industry.

Nopparat Kulhiran, chief executive of TDI, represented her company at the delivery ceremony.

Nopparat, who is known internationally as “Madame Tank”, said Bhutan would use the 10 armoured vehicles in its peacekeeping mission in Central Africa.

She said the TDI had already delivered 45 armoured vehicles to Bhutan in 2001, and the Arab state also dispatched personnel to learn how to perform maintenance on the vehicles.

Made-in-Thailand armoured vehicles, pistols delivered to Bhutan

She added that the Philippines had informed her company that it planned to order a total of 900 armoured vehicles from TDI, with the first lot being 200 vehicles.

Nopparat is also vice-president of Chaiseri Metal and Rubber Company. She said armies of 46 other nations had also bought armoured vehicles from Chaiseri.

The armoured vehicles had been designed with shielded tops to defend against drone attacks, she added.

Nopparat said local security agencies, including the Internal Operation Command, the Royal Thai Navy and Border Patrol Police Bureau, are also interested in buying armoured vehicles from her company.

She said her firm’s First Win 4x4 ATV passed Standardisation Agreement 4569, a set of standards established by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for protecting occupants of logistical and light armoured vehicles.

According to Sutin, Bhutan also bought 30 MI-9 9mm pistols and 200 MI-47 7.62mm pistols from WMI.