BANGKOK – Thailand’s defense technology agency is currently working with China to setup a joint arms factory center to produce and maintain military equipment and arms after their security relationship has been restored after a coup in 2014.
According to the Thai defence ministry spokesman, the Thai Defence Technology Institute will be set up the first commercial joint defense facility with China in July next year in the province of Khon Kaen. The DTI would also handle the assembly, production and maintenance of the Chinese-made land weapon systems used by the Thai army.
In his statement with Reuters, Defense Ministry Spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich said that all of the production from the center would be used for domestic use and it can also be used by other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Further details of the plan is still under discussion between the Thai defense ministry and the China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO), the Chinese company that would be partnering with DTI in the joint plant. NORINCO is known for its production capacity and producing tanks, weapons and heavy equipment.
Kongcheep also said that the Chinese would be assisting in the training and technology transfer in the center. It is still uncertain if the joint center would have Chinese personnel.
The Thai government is also speaking with Ukraine, Russia and South Africa in the establishment of other joint defense manufacturing facilities in the country.
By Mei Manuel