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Thailand builds new ammunition factory in line with self-reliance target

The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has started operating a new factory to produce 5.56 mm ammunition, it has been announced. The RTA said the facility, in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, is aligned with its policy to reduce reliance on imports.

According to the RTA, the facility has the capacity to produce 50 million rounds a year. Investment in the factory was THB2.8 billion (USD84 million), with support on tooling and technologies reportedly provided by the China North Industries Group Corporation.

RTA Commander-in-Chief General Narongpan Jitkaewthae said on visiting the factory on 28 October, that the facility is part of the RTA's programme to build self-reliance and introduce greater efficiencies in producing and procuring military equipment. His comments were reported by the official National News Bureau of Thailand.

The new factory operates as part of the RTA's Ordnance Industrial Center and its network of more than 20 production facilities across the country. In the past, the RTA has imported ammunition from suppliers such as China, India, Israel, and Pakistan. Israel has also assisted the RTA on developing related production capability.

Norinco's role in supporting the development of the factory is aligned with its deepening alliance with the RTA. In recent years, the RTA has procured from the state-owned Chinese group platforms such as the VN-16 amphibious assault vehicles, VT-4 main battle tanks, and VN-1 armoured personnel carriers.

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