DSA 2018: Thai marines order 155mm SPHs from Israel
The Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC) is acquiring new firepower to protect the country’s eastern border adjacent to Cambodia after a contract was signed to procure the 155mm L/52 Autonomous Truck Mounted Gun (ATMG) from Israel.
On 23 March, Adm Jumpol Loompikanon, the deputy permanent secretary for defence, hosted a ceremony to sign a contract for six units of the ATMG from Elbit Systems.
The contract with the Royal Thai Navy is worth about $26,385,390, and the systems will be delivered within 28 months.
Major parts of the gun system from Israel will be assembled in Thailand by the Weapon Production Centre’s Defence Industry and Energy Centre (WPC DIEC). Technology transferred from Elbit Systems will also allow other minor parts to be built by the WPC DIEC.
The ATMG is an autonomous artillery system with built-in fire control system, a high rate of fire and good manoeuvrability. The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has already procured 18 units of this same artillery system.
The RTMC is expected to procure more ATMGs in the future. This current procurement, along with the requirement of the RTA for 36 more units in the future, means the WPC DIEC can continue its assembly and production line for many years, plus it helps support local industry.
The RTMC already has 18 units of the 155mm GC-45 and GHN-45A1 with APU. These have been in service for more than 30 years, but their manoeuvrability is limited.
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