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D&S 2019: Thailand expands artillery production projects

20 November 2019
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Thailand is expanding its programmes with Israel's Elbit Systems to locally produce mortar systems and howitzers for the Royal Thai Armed Forces.

Officials from the Thai Ministry of Defence (MoD) told Jane's at the Defense and Security (D&S) 2019 show in Bangkok on 19 November that production of the two systems has recently increased momentum and that the two sides are exploring additional areas of collaboration.

The mortar programme features the production of an Autonomous Truck-Mounted Mortar (ATMM), integrating Elbit's 120 mm Spear mortar system with a 4x4 truck supplied by Indian company Tata.

The howitzer programme features the Autonomous Truck-Mounted Gun (ATMG), incorporating Elbit's ATMOS 155 mm/52-calibre self-propelled howitzer on a 6x6 10-tonne Tatra truck from the Czech Republic.

Officials said that the Thai-Elbit joint venture has produced more than 20 of each type of platform for the Royal Thai Army (RTA) and that the partners are also preparing six ATMGs for the Royal Thai Marine Corps and an additional 18 ATMGs for the RTA from 2020.

Jane's understands that the production of both types of platform could reach more than 100 as the RTA looks to replace several types of legacy platforms that have been in service for decades.

The ATMM project is intended to support enhanced fire capability within the RTA's infantry combat units while the ATMG project is positioned to support tactical missions undertaken by the RTA's artillery battalions.

Manufacturing of the platforms is undertaken by the Artillery and Mortar Production Division of the RTA's Weapon Production Centre (WPC), which is headquartered in Lopburi in central Thailand. The programmes are supported through technology transfers from Elbit, with officials confirming that workshare on the two projects is "about 50:50".

The Royal Thai Army's Weapon Production Centre is increasing momentum of its production of the Autonomous Truck-Mounted Gun (pictured) in partnership with Israel's Elbit Systems. (IHS Markit/Jon Grevatt)The Royal Thai Army's Weapon Production Centre is increasing momentum of its production of the Autonomous Truck-Mounted Gun (pictured) in partnership with Israel's Elbit Systems. (IHS Markit/Jon Grevatt)

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