February 7, 2018

China’s decades of weapons to Thailand

Weapons’ exports are a key means for an exporter to influence a recipient. Large sums involved and commercial and national security secrecy of major weapons exports may increase the chances of corruption of the recipient’s officials, politicians and military officers.

The Table below starts with Chinese exports to Thailand. Chinese exports to other countries in the Indo-Pacific will follow.

China has designed and exported major weapons systems to Thailand as early as the 1980s, long before the submarine sale. Major items for the Royal Thai Army include the latest VT-4 Main Battle Tanks. Chinese frigates, OPVs and a replenishment ship have been exported to the Royal Thai Navy since 1993.

Chinese Designed and Built Weapon Systems for Thailand

From China
Exported more than 20 years ago
Less than 20 year old, new or future

to Thailand
450 x Armoured Personnel Carriers Type 85 from 1987

2 x Frigates Type 025T Naresuan class from 1993-4

4 x Frigates Type 053HT Chao Phraya class early 1990s with C-802/CSS-N-8 ASMs

HTMS Similan Type 908 replenishment ship 1996-
100+ Main Battle Tanks Type 30 was 69-ll built 1987-2004, retired

3 x OPVs  Hua Hin class built 2002-4, in use

2 x OPVs Pattani class from 2004

49 to 150 Main Battle Tanks VT-4 from 2017-

34 x Infantry fighting vehicle  VN-1 from 2020- based on China’s ZBL-08

3 x Submarines Type S26T  from 2021-


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