Ministry of Defence (Thailand)

The Ministry of Defence (Abrv: MOD; Thai: กระทรวงกลาโหม, RTGSKrasuang Kalahom), is a cabinet-level government department of the Kingdom of Thailand. The ministry controls and manages the Royal Thai Armed Forces to maintain national security, territorial integrity, and national defence. The armed forces of Thailand are composed of three branches: the Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Navy, and Royal Thai Air Force.

Kingdom of Thailand
Ministry of Defense
Emblem of the Ministry of Defence of Thailand.svg
Emblem of the Ministry of Defense
Ministry of Defence, Bangkok - Day.jpg
Ministry of Defense building, opposite Temple of the Emerald Buddha
Ministry overview
Formed8 April 1887; 132 years ago (1887-04-08)
JurisdictionGovernment of Thailand
HeadquartersHeadquarters building, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Annual budget233,300 million baht (FY2020)
Minister responsible
Ministry executive
  • General Nath Intharacharoen, Permanent Secretary

Although the King of Thailand is the supreme head of the Thai armed forces (Thai: จอมทัพไทย), his position is only nominal. The ministry and the forces are administered by an appointed politician, the Minister of Defence, a member of the Cabinet of Thailand. The post of minister of defence has been held by General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who is also prime minister, since 10 July 2019.


Initially, the Ministry was called Krom Kalahom (Thai: กรมกลาโหม) and its head was called Samuha Kalahom (Thai: สมุหกลาโหม), and it was charged with the protection of the southern border. It was founded in the Ayutthaya period and was retained throughout the Rattanakosin period. The ministry in its current design was formed in 1887, by the order of King Chulalongkorn, to create a permanent military command. This was a result of the increasing threat posed by Western powers. The ministry was first housed in an old horse-and-elephant stable opposite the Grand Palace. A new European-style building was erected to house it. At first the ministry only commanded the army (founded in 1847), but then it incorporated the navy (founded in 1887), and finally, the air force (founded in 1913). In 1914, King Vajiravudh determined that the act providing for invoking martial law, first promulgated by his father in 1907, was not consistent with modern laws of war nor convenient for the preservation of the external or internal security of the state, so it was changed to the modern form that, with minor amendments, continues to be in force.[1]


Thai Department of Defence Budget (million baht)[2][3]
Organisation FY2018 FY2019 FY2020
Office of the Permanent Secretary 9,250 10,063 10,300
Headquarters 16,802 17,352 17,900
Defence Technology Organization 1,227 1,240 1,300
Army 107,457 111,377 113,700
Navy 43,835 45,485 47,300
Air Force 39,931 41,609 42,900
Totals 218,503 227,127 233,300

The military augments its budgets through its ownership of golf courses, racetracks, boxing stadia, and radio and television stations.[3][4][5]

List of MinistersEdit


Ministry of Defense
General Prayut Chan-o-cha
Deputy Minister
General Chaichan Changmongkol
Permanent Secretary
General Nath Intharacharoen
Royal Thai Armed Forces HQ
Chief of the Defence Forces
General Pornpipat Benyasri
Royal Thai Army
Royal Thai Navy
Royal Thai Air Force
General Apirat Kongsompong Admiral Luechai Ruddit Air Chief Marshal Chaipruek Didyasarin[6]


Departmental organisationEdit

Associated organizationsEdit

Other agenciesEdit


  1. ^ Pakorn Nilprapunt (2006). "Martial Law, B.E. 2457 (1914)" (PDF). Thai Law Forum. Office of the Council of State. Archived from the original (unofficial translation) on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014. Reference to Thai legislation in any jurisdiction shall be to the Thai version only. This translation has been made so as to establish correct understanding about this act to the foreigners
  2. ^ "Thailand's Budget in Brief Fiscal Year 2019". Bureau of the Budget. 20 December 2018. p. 84. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Prawit defends army spending". Bangkok Post. 3 December 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Thanathorn gives up parliament roles". Bangkok Post. 30 November 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  5. ^ "FFP boss queries army wealth". Bangkok Post. 30 November 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  6. ^ Pongsudhirak, Thitinan (5 October 2018). "Thailand's new military and new politics" (Opinion). Bangkok Post. Retrieved 5 October 2018.

External linksEdit