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The Royal Thai Army or RTA (Thai: กองทัพบกไทย; RTGSkong thap bok thai ) is the army of Thailand responsible for protecting its sovereignty and national interests. It is the oldest and largest branch of the Royal Thai Armed Forces.

Royal Thai Army
Emblem of the Royal Thai Army.svg
Emblem of the Royal Thai Army
Active8 May 1874 (144 years)
AllegianceThe King of Thailand
Size210,000 (est.)[1]
Part ofRoyal Thai Armed Forces
HQRoyal Thai Army Headquarters, Ratchadamnoen Avenue, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok
Motto(s)เพื่อชาติ ศาสน์ กษัตริย์ และประชาชน ("For the Nation, Religions, Monarchy, and People")
(Army March)
Anniversaries18 January
(Royal Thai Armed Forces Day)
EngagementsHaw wars
Franco-Siamese War
World War I
Franco-Thai War
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War
Vietnamese border raids in Thailand
Thai–Laotian Border War
Iraq War
South Thailand insurgency
Cambodian–Thai border stand-off
2008–2010 Thai political crisis
Commander-in-chiefGeneral Apirat Kongsompong
Phraya Phahonphonphayuhasena
Plaek Phibunsongkhram
Sarit Thanarat
Thanom Kittikachorn
Prem Tinsulanonda
Chavalit Yongchaiyudh
Suchinda Kraprayoon
Surayud Chulanont
Sonthi Boonyaratglin
Prayut Chan-o-cha
Royal Thai Army FlagFlag of the Royal Thai Army.svg
Unit ColourRoyal Thai Army Unit Colour.svg




The Siamese Expeditionary Force in Paris, 1919.

The Royal Thai Army is responsible for protecting the kingdom's sovereignty. It is the oldest and largest branch of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. The army was formed in 1874, partly as a response to new security threats following the 1855 Bowring Treaty with Britain, which opened the country for international trade.[2]


On 22 May 2014 the army deposed the government, appointed military officers to the national assembly, and on 21 August 2014 they elected the army's Commander in Chief, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, as prime minister. The general retired October 2014[3] to concentrate on political reform which he said would take at least a year, following which he promised national elections would be held.[4]

Observers have noted a power struggle in 2016 between the factions of the Thai army and their support of different heirs to the throne of Thailand. The largest faction conflict is between the Queen's Guard Regiment, who support the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, while the King's Guard soldiers, and other royalists, support the king's second daughter, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.[5]

Coups d'étatEdit

In the modern era, the Royal Thai Army, the most powerful branch of the Thai military, has a long history of coups d'état and coup attempts. Its leadership continues to see coup-making as one role of the army.[6][7]


On 24 December 2015 the RTA broke ground for a new auditorium, formally called the "Royal Thai Army International Forum". The 2.3 billion baht (US$64 million) facility will replace an existing 58 year-old auditorium. The building is due to be completed in 2019. The ground floor auditorium will accommodate 500 people, an office, a press room, and a reception hall. The first floor will include a party room for 500 people. The second floor will hold a second auditorium for 3,000 people and a reception hall. The basement car park is designed to accommodate 400 vehicles.[8]

Command and controlEdit

Royal Thai Armed Forces M60A1 battle tanks manoeuvre, Ban Chan Krem, 21 February 2014.
Royal Thai Army firing M198 howitzer, June 2016

The Royal Thai Army is commanded by the Commander of the Royal Thai Army (ผู้บัญชาการทหารบกไทย). This position is considered the most powerful position in the Thai Armed Forces.[9] As of 1 October 2018, the commander is General Apirat Kongsompong.[10][11][12] The army as a whole is commanded by an estimated 1,750 generals.[12] In the view of the Bangkok Post, "Two thirds of that number could be retired immediately, and the only effect would be that the world would stop mocking Thailand for their presence."[13]

  • Commander-in-Chief: Gen Apirat Kongsompong from 1 October 2018).[14][15]
  • Deputy Commander-in-Chief: General Walit Rochanapakdee
  • Assistant Commander-in-Chief: General Kampanat Ruddit
  • Assistant Commander-in-Chief: General Chalermchai Sitthisad
  • Chief of Staff of the Army: General Pisit Sitthisarn

List of commandersEdit


First Army
Second Army,
3rd Infantry Division
Third Army,
4th Infantry Division
Fourth Army
2nd Infantry Division
9th Infantry Division
11th Infantry Division
6th Infantry Division
7th Infantry Division
5th Infantry Division
15th Infantry Division
Locations of the army's major units in Thailand

The Royal Thai Army today is divided into four army areas:

First Army
1st Division,
3rd Cavalry Division,
1st Cavalry Division
2nd Cavalry Division
Locations of the army's major units in Bangkok

The creation of the 15th Infantry Division was announced in January 2005.[17] Defence Minister, General Samphan Boonyanan, was quoted as saying that the new unit, dubbed the "Development Division", would not be a combat unit for fighting Islamic militants, but rather its main mission would be to assist local citizens and develop the region. The military will not ignore its general function of providing safety for the citizens of the region, he added. He said that troops for the new division would undergo training to give them a good understanding of local residents, the vast majority of whom are ethnic Malay Muslims. The division is in fact a transformation of the Pranburi-based 16th Infantry Division. It will now be headquartered at Fort Ingkhayutthaborihan in Pattani, complete with its battalions and companies of military police and communications and aviation personnel, he said. It will also have three separate infantry battalions, one each in Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat. Each battalion will include three companies of medical, engineering, and psychological warfare personnel, he said. The government will allocate a budget of more than 18 billion baht for the division over the next four years.[18]

The International Crisis Group wrote in 2010 that "...the 15th Infantry Division is being established as a permanent force to handle security problems in the Deep South. The division is based in Pattani and is expected to have a combined force of around 10,000. The establishment of this new division, approved by the government in 2005, has yet to be completed. As of this writing, some 7,000 troops deployed in the Deep South are affiliated to this division."[19]

Jane's Defence Weekly for 15 August 2012 said that two new combat formations had been approved by the previous Pheu Thai administration. The new 7th Infantry Division is based at Mae Rim, near Chiang Mai, and the new 3rd Cavalry Division is based at Khon Kaen.[20]

The King's Guard form several separate regiments within these formations.

Tactical unitsEdit

Thai and US Army troops practice tactical manoeuvres during exercise Cobra Gold 2006 in Lopburi.

The army is organised into the following formations:

  • Nine infantry divisions (including 16 tank battalions)
  • One armoured division
  • Three cavalry divisions (light armoured divisions)
  • One special forces division trained and equipped for small unit special and airborne operations
  • One field artillery division
  • One air defence artillery division
  • Eight independent infantry battalions
  • Three airmobile companies provided the ground force units with battlefield support

The Royal Thai Army controls at least one television network, the Thai Global Network.

The Army Tactical Level Advanced Simulation (ATLAS) is an interactive, distributed, constructive simulation used to conduct military Command Post Exercises (CPX). ATLAS displays a continuous terrain model, incorporates HLA 1516, and displays 1:250,000 and 1:50,000 maps and satellite imagery. ATLAS was developed between 2002–2005 through co-operation with the Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC).

Army Medical DepartmentEdit

Army Medical Department (AMED) (กรมแพทย์ทหารบก) belongs to the service segment of the Royal Thai Army. It is in charge of medical affairs, and providing medical care, both in the field and on base, training personnel in research and agriculture and supervising the other medical divisions within the Royal Thai Army. AMED observed 111 years of service in January 2011,[21] with 110 years of service having been honoured by issue of a series of commemorative stamps.[22] AMED operates Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok and Ananda Mahidol Hospital in Lopburi, along with smaller hospitals at each fort, as well as Phramongkutklao College of Medicine (PCM).

Air DivisionEdit

UH-60L Black Hawk during air show at Don Mueang Air Force Base
Mil Mi-17 V5 during air show at Don Mueang Air Force Base

Royal Thai Army Air Division (กองบินทหารบกไทย) belongs to the service segment of the Royal Thai Army Areas:

  • Don Mueang International Airport (VTBD)
    • Units include the VIP squadron, flying two Embraer ERJ-135LRs (serial number 1084/HS-AMP and serial number 1124), two Jetstream 41s (serial numbers 41060 and 41094), two Casa 212–300s (serial numbers 446 and 447), and two Beech 1900C-1s (serial numbers 0169 and 0170) and the 1st Infantry Battalion operating two Bell 206Bs (serial numbers 4422 and 4448), three Schweizer S-300Cs (serial numbers 1340, 1366 and 1367), and two Cessna U-17B FAC aircraft (serial numbers 1616 and 1617).
  • Bang Khen (3 km south of Don Mueang)
    • The Royal Squadron flies three Bell 212s and two Bell 412s (serial numbers 36332 and 36333). There is also a special transport unit flying around 10–12 Bell 212s and one or two Bell 206s.
UH-60L Black Hawk during air show at Don Mueang Air Force Base
  • Fort Surasi (Kanchanaburi)
    • The 9th Infantry Battalion operates two Bell 206Bs (the serial number of one is 4424), and two or three Schweizer S-300Cs. There is also a detachment of UH-1Hs from an Air Mobility Company based here.
  • Fort Chakraphong (Prachinburi)
    • The 2nd Infantry Battalion, "The Queen's Guard", was operating two Bell 206Bs (serial numbers 4446 and 4361), three Schweizer S-300Cs (serial numbers 1343, 1344, and 1345), and two Maule MX-7s (one serial number known is 099) in 2004, however it is likely the Maule MX-7s may now not be operated by this unit now. A detachment of this unit (with, in 1998, one Bell 206 and one Maule MX-7) was operating from Watthana Nakhon (VTBW) near the Cambodian border.
AH-1F Cobra attack helicopter during air show at Don Mueang Air Force Base
  • Phitsanulok Airport (VTPP)
    • Loc 16 degrees 46'58.58N,100 degrees 16'44.84E elevation 154 feet/47 metres.
    • Runway 14/32 length 9,843 x 148 feet (3,000 x 45 metres)
    • Operating from here is the 4th Infantry Battalion with Bell 206Bs, Schweizer S-300Cs, Cessna U-17Bs, and Maule MX-7s.
  • Fort Suranari (Khorat)
    • The main flying unit here is the 3rd Infantry Battalion flying two Bell 206Bs (serial numbers 4396 and 4447), two Schweizer S-300Cs (serial numbers 1337 and 1339), and two Cessna U-17Bs (serial numbers 1454 and 1618).
    • This field also hosts a detachment of up to three Bell 212 helicopters from one of the Air Mobility Companies.

Lopburi, the main base complex of Royal Thai Army Aviation, including training, technical school, aircraft maintenance, and aircraft storage.

  • The main airfield here is called Sa Pran Nak (VTBH)
    • Loc 14 degrees 56'58.02N, 100 degrees 38'34.88E elevation 95 feet (29 metres).
    • Runways 01/19 3,300 x 98 feet (1,006 x 30 metres) and 06/24 3,890 x 98 feet (1,186 x 30 metres)
    • Operating units here include
      • Gong Bin Bau (Light Aviation Company) – operating Cessna U-17Bs, Cessna T-41s, and Searcher MKIIs
      • Gong Bin Pee-ak Moon Tee Nung (Air Mobility Company 1) – operating Bell UH-1Hs and Bell 212s
      • Gong Bin Pee-ak Moon Tee Song (Air Mobility Company 2) – operating Bell UH-1Hs (US Excess Defense Articles Program)and Bell 212s
      • Gong Bin Pee-ak Moon Tee Sam (Air mobility Company 3) – operating Bell UH-1Hs, Bell 206Bs, Bell AH-1F Huey Cobras (eight) and Bell 212s
      • Gong Bin Pee-ak Moon Tee Gou (pasom) (Air Mobility Company 9) [Mixed]) – operating Bell UH-1Hs (US Excess Defense Articles Program) and Sikorsky S-70-43 Black Hawks (six) with six more on order.
      • Gong Bin Sanub-sanoon Tua Pai (General Support Aviation Battalion) – operating Boeing CH-47D Chinooks, Bell UH-1Hs, and Mil Mi-17V5s
      • The army aviation centre is based here, which conducts conversion training for the army. Types operated are Cessna T-41Bs (ex-US army surplus), Maule MX-7s, and Schweizer S-300C piston trainer helicopters.
      • The two former VIP Beechcraft 200 King Air aeroplanes (serial numbers 0342 and 1165), are also based here. Their present role is unknown. These aeroplanes were modified in the US in the late-1990s.

A separate airfield within the Lopburi complex (around 3 km south of Sa Pran Nak) houses the 5th Aircraft Maintenance Company. This unit is responsible for maintenance and storage of army aircraft and helicopters.

  • The 5th Infantry Division operates the following aviation assets from a small airfield within the army reserve at Nakhon Si Thammarat (not at the airport): two Bell 206B-3s (serial numbers 4382 and 4427), three Schweizer TH-300Cs (serial numbers 1371, 1372, and 1373) and two Maule MX-7s (serial numbers 114 and 115). A detachment of helicopters can be found here from the Air Mobility Companies based at Lopburi.

Military districtsEdit

The Royal Thai Army is divided into districts, whereby the first digit of the district indicates the army (first, second, third or fourth) that operates it. The names of forts are from locations or influential figures in Thai history. These are as follows:

Military District Number Provinces under control Headquarters location
11 Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan Dusit, Bangkok
12 Prachinburi, Nakhon Nayok, Chachoengsao Fort Chakraphong, Prachinburi
13 Lopburi, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong Fort King Narai Maharat, Lopburi
14 Chonburi, Rayong Fort Nawaminthrachini, Chonburi
15 Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan Fort Ramratchaniwet, Phetchaburi
16 Ratchaburi, Samut Songkhram, Samut Sakhon Fort Phanurangsi, Ratchaburi
17 Kanchanaburi, Suphan Buri Fort Surasi, Kanchanaburi
18 Saraburi, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Fort Adisorn, Saraburi
19 Sa Kaeo, Chanthaburi, Trat Fort Surasinghanat, Sa Kaeo
21 Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum Fort Suranari, Nakhon Ratchasima
22 Ubon Ratchathani, Amnat Charoen Fort Sapphasitthiprasong, Ubon Ratchathani
23 Khon Kaen, Kalasin Fort Sripatcharin, Khon Kaen
24 Udon Thani, Nong Khai Fort Prachaksinlapakhom, Udon Thani
25 Surin, Sisaket Fort Weerawatyothin, Surin
26 Buriram, Maha Sarakham Fort Somdej Chao Phraya Kasatsuek, Buriram
27 Roi Et, Yasothon Fort Prasertsongkhram, Roi Et
28 Loei, Nong Bua Lamphu Fort Srisongrak, Loei
29 Sakon Nakhon, Bueng Kan Fort Kritsiwara, Sakon Nakhon
210 Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan Fort Phra Yod Mueang Khwang, Nakhon Phanom
31 Nakhon Sawan, Kamphaeng Phet, Uthai Thani Fort Chiraprawat, Nakhon Sawan
32 Lampang Fort Surasak Montri, Lampang
33 Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun Fort Kawila, Chiang Mai
34 Phayao Fort Khun Chueang Thammikkarat, Phayao
35 Uttaradit, Phrae Fort Phichai Dabhak, Uttaradit
36 Phetchabun, Phichit Fort Phokhun Pha Mueang, Phetchabun
37 Chiang Rai Fort King Mengrai Maharat, Chiang Rai
38 Nan Fort Suriyaphong, Nan
39 Phitsanulok, Sukhothai Fort King Naresuan Maharat, Phitsanulok
310 Tak Fort Wachiraprakan, Tak
41 Nakhon Si Thammarat (except Thung Song District), Phuket Fort Vajiravudh, Nakhon Si Thammarat
42 Songkhla, Phatthalung, Satun Fort Senanarong, Songkhla
43 Nakhon Si Thammarat (only Thung Song District), Krabi, Trang Fort Thep Satri Srisunthorn, Nakhon Si Thammarat
44 Chumphon, Ranong Fort Khet Udomsak, Chumphon
45 Surat Thani, Phang Nga Fort Vibhavadi Rangsit, Surat Thani
46 Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala Fort Ingkhayutthaborihan, Pattani

Rank structureEdit

OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) & Student officer
จอมพล พลเอก พลโท พลตรี พลจัตวา พันเอก พันโท พันตรี ร้อยเอก ร้อยโท ร้อยตรี นักเรียนนายร้อย
Field Marshal General Lieutenant General Major General Brigadier Colonel Lieutenant Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Sub Lieutenant Cadet Officer
NATO code
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
        No equivalent         No insignia
จ่าสิบเอกพิเศษ จ่าสิบเอก จ่าสิบโท จ่าสิบตรี สิบเอก สิบโท สิบตรี สิบตรีกองประจำการ พลทหาร
Master Sergeant 1st Class
(special rank)
Master Sergeant 1st Class Master Sergeant 2nd Class Master Sergeant 3rd Class Sergeant Corporal Lance Corporal Private 1st Class Private


Infantry weaponsEdit

Small armsEdit

Photo Model Type Caliber Origin Notes
M1911 Semi-automatic pistol .45 ACP   USA
Thai M1911A1 pistols produced under license; locally known as the Type 86 pistol (ปพ.86).
Heckler & Koch USP Semi-automatic pistol .45ACP   Germany Used by special forces.
HS2000 Semi-automatic pistol 9×19mm Parabellum   Croatia Used by armed forces.[23]
CZ 75 Semi-automatic pistol 9×19mm Parabellum   Czech Republic Used by special forces.
Beretta 92 Semi-automatic pistol 9×19mm Parabellum   Italy
Beretta M1951 Semi-automatic pistol 9×19mm Parabellum   Italy Used by armed forces.
FN Five-seven Semi-automatic pistol FN 5.7×28mm   Belgium
Remington Model 870 Shotgun 12 gauge   USA
Franchi SPAS-12 Shotgun 12 gauge   Italy
Submachine guns
Heckler & Koch MP5 Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum   Germany Used by special forces.
UZI Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum   Israel Used by military police.
Heckler & Koch UMP Submachine gun 9×19mm Parabellum   Germany UMP9 submachine guns used by special forces.
FN P90 Submachine gun 5.7x28mm   Belgium FN P90 submachine guns used by special forces.
Assault rifles
IWI Tavor TAR-21 Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO   Israel Standard infantry rifle. Replaced M16A1, 106,203 Tavors on order. Present 73,000+ Tavor/X95 in service [24][25]
IWI X95 Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO   Israel
IWI ACE Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO   Israel
M16A1/A2/A4 Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO   USA Standard infantry rifle. Aging M16A1 will be replaced by IMI Tavor TAR-21 and M16A4.
Heckler & Koch HK33 Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO   Germany
Thai license produced version of the Heckler & Koch HK33. Used by Royal Thai Armed Forces and Army Reserve Force Students.
Type 11 assault rifle Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO   Thailand The Type 11 (ปลย.11) is a bullpup assault rifle of Thai origin, manufactured by the Ministry of National Defence. The weapon is a derivative of the Heckler & Koch HK33 assault rifle.
Steyr AUG Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO   Austria Used by special forces.
Heckler & Koch G36 Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO   Germany Used by special forces.
SAR 21 Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO   Singapore Used by special forces.
AK-102 Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO   Russia Used by volunteer force
IWI Galil Assault rifle 5.56×45mm NATO   Israel Used in small numbers.
Type 56/56-1 Assault rifle 7.62×39mm   China Used in small numbers.[citation needed]
M4A1 Carbine Carbine 5.56×45mm NATO   US Used by special forces, some equipped with SOPMOD kit.
CAR-15 Carbine 5.56×45mm NATO   USA
Semi-automatic rifles
M1 Garand Semi-automatic rifle .30-06 Springfield   USA Locally known as the Type 88 self-loading rifle (ปลยบ.88). Used by King's Guards and by Army Reserve Force Students as a non-firing training rifle.
M1/M2 Carbine Semi-automatic rifle .30 Carbine   USA Locally known as the Type 87 carbine (ปสบ. 87). Used by Army Reserve Force Students as a non-firing training rifle.
Sniper rifle and Marksman rifles
SIG Sauer SSG 3000 Sniper rifle 7.62×51mm NATO    Switzerland
Barrett M82 Anti-materiel rifle .50 BMG   USA Used by special forces.[26]
SR-25 Marksman rifle 7.62×51mm NATO   USA
M14 rifle Marksman rifle 7.62×51mm NATO   USA
Machine guns
FN MINIMI Light machine gun 5.56×45mm NATO   Belgium
IMI Negev Light machine gun 5.56×45mm NATO   Israel Over 2,000 purchased. Delivery is ongoing.[27]
Heckler & Koch HK21 Light machine gun 5.56×45mm NATO   Germany
Type 56 LMG Light machine gun 7.62×39mm   China Used in small numbers.[citation needed]
FN MAG-58 General purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO   Belgium
M60 General purpose machine gun 7.62×51mm NATO   USA
M2 Browning machine gun Heavy machine gun .50 BMG   USA Locally known as Type 93 machine gun (ปก.93). Use by infantry units and mobile vehicles and helicopters.
Type 54 HMG Heavy machine gun 12.7×108mm   China Mounted on Type 69 and small number of V-150.

Grenades, rockets, and MANPADSEdit

Photo Model Type Origin Notes
Grenade launchers
M203 grenade launcher Underbarrel grenade launcher   US
Beretta GLX160 Underbarrel grenade launcher   Italy
M79 grenade launcher Single-shot grenade launcher   US
BTS-203 Single-shot grenade launcher   Thailand Used in small numbers by Army Reserve Force Students as a non-firing training grenade launcher.
Mk 19 grenade launcher Automatic grenade launcher   US
M72 LAW Anti-tank rocket launcher   US
M47 Dragon Anti-tank guided missile   US
BGM-71 TOW Anti-tank guided missile   US
RPG-2 Rocket-propelled grenade   China Used in small numbers.[citation needed]
Type 69 RPG Rocket-propelled grenade   China [citation needed]
RPG-7V2 Rocket-propelled grenade   Russia [citation needed]
Carl Gustav recoilless rifle Recoilless rifle   Sweden
M40 recoilless rifle Recoilless rifle   US Mounted on M151 utility vehicles.
9K38 Igla-S Man-portable air-defence system   Russia Part of order placed in 2010.[28]
HN-5A Man-portable air-defence system   China [28]


Armoured fighting vehiclesEdit

Photo Model Type Origin Quantity Notes
T-84 Oplot-M Main Battle Tank   Ukraine 49 The government has approved 7.2 billion baht to purchase the first 49 T-84 Oplot main battle tanks to be assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Bn (Royal Guard at Fort Chakkraphongse, Prachinburi).[29][30]
VT-4 Main battle tank   China 39 (+11)[31][32][33] Up to 150 may be acquired.[34] The RTA agreed with China to procure the VT-4 main battle tank (MBT). The first shipment of 28 tanks were delivered in October 2017. The army ordered 10 more VT-4s in 2017 and will order 10 more next year.[35] The deal, thought to be valued at about US$150 million. If the first batch of deliveries is successful, sources indicated the RTA would look to buy more VT-4s, as it intends to meet the long-standing requirement for up to 150 MBTs.[36]
M60A1/A3 Patton Main battle tank   US 178 Ex–US Army 53 M60A1 RISE Passive and 125 M60A3 TTS.
M48A5 Patton Main battle tank   US 105
M41A3 Walker Bulldog Light tank   US 200 Being replaced by the T-84 Oplot-M and VT-4 Main battle tank.[37]
FV101 Scorpion Light tank   UK 128
Stingray light tank Light tank   US 106
Armoured Vehicles
Type 85 Armoured personnel carrier   China 450 Variants include: APC, ACV,SPM 120mm, SPM 81mm, SPRL. Six are fitted with Type 82 multiple rocket launchers.
M113A1/A2/A3 Armoured personnel carrier   US 385 Overall there are 500+ M113s in different variants. 450+ of M113A1/A2/A3 are armoured personnel carriers. Six M113A2s are fitted with TOW 1 anti-tank missiles. twenty-three are M577 command vehicles. Ten M113A3s are recovery vehicles. Nine M113A3s are ambulances.
M901A3 ITV Tank destroyer   US Unknown
M106A1/A2 Mortar carrier   US Unknown Fitted with 107 mm M30 mortar and a 12.7 mm machine gun.
M125 Mortar carrier   US Unknown Fitted with 81 mm M29 mortar and a 12.7 mm machine gun.
BTR-3E1 Infantry fighting vehicle/Armoured personnel carrier   Ukraine
238 96 ordered in 2008. Deliveries delayed due to changes in engine and transmission. Additional six given by the Ukrainian Government. Second order of 121 announced in Aug 2011.[citation needed] Third order of 21 announced in August 2013.[38] Thai BTR-3E1 is produced under license.[39]
VN-1 Infantry fighting vehicle   China (+34) RTA ordered one battalion of ZBL-09 or VN-1 and aim for 2020 delivery at the price of US$1.695 million each.[40]
V-150 Commando Armoured personnel carrier   US 162 Variants include: 27 V-150s are armoured personnel carriers. Twenty-nine V-150s are 81mm mortar carriers. Fifty-six V-150s are fitted with 90mm turrets. One V-150 is an ambulance.
V-100 Commando Armoured personnel carrier   US 150
First Win 4x4 Infantry mobility vehicle   Thailand 21 Mine-protected vehicle.
Humvee Light Armored Car/Light utility vehicle   US Unknown RTA use M998, M1038A1, M1097A1, M1037, M1042, M1025, M1026A1, M966, M997, M997A2.
REVA 4x4 MKII Infantry mobility vehicle   South Africa 85 Mine-protected vehicle.

Support vehiclesEdit

Photo Model Type Origin Notes
M992 Ammunition resupply vehicle   US Used for resupplying the M109A5 howitzer.
FV105 Sultan Armored command vehicle   UK
Bronco ATTC Amphibious armoured vehicle   Singapore Troop carrier variant. Used by engineers.
Type 84 AVLB Armoured vehicle-launched bridge   China Based on the Type 69 MBT. 18 m long mobile bridge.
M881A1/A2 Hercules Armored recovery vehicle   US
Type 653 Armored recovery vehicle   China
FV106 Samson Armored recovery vehicle   UK
M578 LRV Armored recovery vehicle   US

Utility and logistical vehiclesEdit

Photo Model Type Origin Notes
Utility vehicles
[6][7] M50,M51 Chaiprakarn Military light utility vehicle   Thailand
[8][9][10] TR MUV4 Military light utility vehicle   Thailand
M151 Military light utility vehicle   US RTA use M151A2, M718A1, M825.
Mercedes-Benz G-Class Military light utility vehicle   Germany
Ford Ranger Light utility vehicle   US
Toyota HiLux Revo Light utility vehicle   Japan
Logistical vehicles
M911 Tractor unit   US
M813 Truck   US RTA use M54, M54A2, M51A1, M51A2, M52, M52A1, M52A2, M246, M543, M543A2, M813, M813A1, M820A2, M817, M818, M816.
M35 2-1/2 ton cargo truck Truck   US RTA use M35, M35A1, M35A2, M50A2, M50A3, M49A1, M49A2, M109A3, M185A1, M292A2, M275, M36A2.
Isuzu F-Series Truck   Japan
RTA use Isuzu FTS 800 4x4, FTS 33 H2E 4x4.
KrAZ-6322 Truck   Ukraine
LMTV Truck   US RTA have four series of LMTV, M1083, M1085, M1088, and M1089.
UNIMOG Truck   Germany RTA use U1100/L 4x4, U1550 4x4, U2450/L 6x6, U2405 6x6.
Hino 700 Truck   Japan


Multiple rocket launchers, howitzers, mortars,surface-to-air missilesEdit

Photo Model Type Origin Quantity Notes
Multiple rocket launchers
DTI-1G 400 mm self-propelled multiple rocket launcher   Thailand
12 The DTI-1G is a multiple rocket launcher of Thai origin. The weapon is a derivative of the WS-32.
DTI-1 302 mm self-propelled multiple rocket launcher   Thailand
8 The DTI-1 is a multiple rocket launcher of Thai origin. The weapon is a derivative of the WS-1B.
Type 82 130 mm self-propelled multiple rocket launcher   China 6 Mounted on Type 85 hulls. The weapon will be replaced by DTI-2
SR4 122 mm self-propelled multiple rocket launcher   China 4
CAESAR 155 mm Self-propelled howitzer   France 6
ATMOS 2000 155 mm self-propelled howitzer   Israel
18 The RTA purchased 14 systems, 1 system delivered from Israel. Another is ongoing license-production in Thailand.[41][42]
M109A5 155 mm self-propelled howitzer   US 20
GHN-45 155 mm towed howitzer   Austria 42
Soltam M-71 155 mm towed howitzer   Israel 32 Undergoing upgrade to self-propelled howitzer
M198 155 mm towed howitzer   US 116
M114 155 mm towed howitzer   US 56 In reserve. Replaced by M198 howitzer.
Type 59-1 130 mm towed howitzer   China Unknown In reserve.
L119 105 mm towed howitzer   UK
Unknown Thai L119 light gun produced under license.
GIAT LG1 105 mm towed howitzer   France Unknown Mk l from Singapore Army.
M56 105 mm towed howitzer   Italy Unknown
M101A1 mod 105 mm towed howitzer   US 285 285 guns improve the Nexter LG1 calibre
M102 105 mm towed howitzer   US Unknown In reserve.
M618A2 105 mm towed howitzer   Thailand Unknown In reserve.
M425 105 mm towed howitzer   Thailand Unknown In reserve.
M29 mortar 81 mm mortar   US Unknown
M1 mortar 81 mm mortar   US Unknown
M2 mortar 60 mm mortar   US Unknown
M19 mortar 60 mm mortar   US Unknown
M121A1/A2 mortar 60 mm mortar   Thailand Unknown
M121A3 commando mortar 60 mm mortar   Thailand Unknown
Surface-to-air missiles
SPADA Surface-to-air missile   Italy Unknown
Starstreak Surface-to-air missile   UK Unknown First ordered in 2012, additional ordered in 2015.[43][44]
VL MICA Surface-to-air missile   France Unknown Ordered in 2013.

Anti-aircraft artilleryEdit

Photo Model Type Origin Notes
M42 Duster 40 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun   US
M163 VADS 20 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun   US undergoing upgrade by IMI.
Type 59 57 mm towed anti-aircraft gun   China
Bofors L60/70 40 mm towed anti-aircraft gun   Sweden
  Oerlikon GDF 35 mm twin cannon towed anti-aircraft gun    Switzerland 8 GDF-007, used with 4x Skyguard 3 FC radar units.
M167 VADS 20 mm towed anti-aircraft gun   US
M45 Quadmount 4 x M2HB machine guns   US M55 Machine Gun Trailer Mount, currently used in reserve and training units
M16 MGMC 4 x M2HB machine guns   US Currently used in reserve and training units.

Radar systemsEdit

Air search radars, Artillery-locating radarsEdit

Photo Model Type Origin Notes
Air search radars
Siemens DR-172 ADV Medium range air search radar   US One system in one army area.
Lockheed Martins LAADS Mobile Short range air search radar   US Use supports M163 VADS,M167 VADS and Bofors L70.
Type 513 Short range air search radar   China Use supports Type 59.
Artillery-locating radars
AN/TPQ-36(V)11 Counter-battery radar   US
BL-904A Counter-battery radar   China Two ordered in 2014.


The Royal Thai Army is known to operate the following aircraft types:

Photo Model Type Origin Quantity Notes
Bell AH-1F Huey Cobra Attack helicopter   US 7 Serial numbers 9996, 9997, 9998. Serial number 9999 lost in 2001 crash. Four more of the same model were ordered in 2005.[45] RTA also has another three AH-1F in storage for spare parts.[46]
Eurocopter Fennec AS550 C3 Light Attack helicopter   France 8 Gunships. Serial numbers are 7443, 7484, 7560, 7584, 7658, 7703, 7724, and 7775.
Sikorsky UH-60L/M Blackhawk (S-70A-43) Utility helicopter   US 12 Serial numbers 6927, 6928, 6929, 7002, 7003, 7025, and 7026. Three more UH-60Ls[47] and three more UH-60Ms[48] ordered Aug 2009 and Jul 2011, respectively. S-70A-43, serial number 6928 was lost in a crash on 17 July 2011. The government has also approved the purchase of two more UH-60Ms. Three more S-70As (based on the UH-60L) arrived at the port of Laem Chabang on 8 April 2013. The serial numbers for these are 7220, 7221, and 7222. Three UH-60M Black Hawks were delivered to RTA on 31 August 2014.These are serial numbers 7334, 7335, and 7336.[49]
AgustaWestland AW149 Utility helicopter   Italy 5
Bell UH-1H Iroquois Utility helicopter   US 92 From US military aid during Vietnam War. Some were bought by RTA through Excess defence articles. Total delivered from 1968–2004: 174.[50] Less than 50% air-worthy. All operable UH-1Hs are in use by three RTA airmobile companies. In 2016 20 UH-1Hs will be upgraded into the UH-1H Plus standard that see its engine replace by Honeywell T53-L703 as well as main rotor blade, tail boom, and many part replace by the Bell 212's equipment standard.[51]
Bell 212 Utility helicopter   US 60 Used by 1st Airmobile Co, 2nd Airmobile Co, 3rd Airmobile Co, and Department of Army Transportation. 48 units undergoing upgrade to tactical helicopter.
Bell 206 Jet Ranger Utility helicopter   US 25 Both the Bell 206A and Bell 206B are in use.
Eurocopter UH-72A Lakota Utility helicopter   US 5 These are serial numbers 9644, 9646, 9654, 9656, 9661, and 9666. Serial number 9656 has crashed in 2016.[52]
Eurocopter EC145 VIP transport helicopter   France 6 For VIPs.[53]
AgustaWestland AW139 VIP transport/Utility helicopter   Italy 6 For VIPs.[54][55]
Mil Mi-17-V5 Transport helicopter   Russia 7 Three helicopters delivered by AN-124-100 RA-82078 to U-Tapao RTNS on 22 February 2011. A photo has appeared of Mi-17 serial number 6403 being offloaded from an AN-124. The serial numbers of the remaining two are 6401 and 6402.2 additional Mi-17-V5 were delivered into U-Tapao RTNS on 26 November 2015 by AN-124. These were serial numbers 6404 and 6405.
Boeing CH-47D Chinook Transport helicopter   US 4
Schweizer S-300C Observation/Trainer helicopter   US 45 For observation and training
Enstrom 480B Trainer helicopter   US 16 For training
Fixed-wing aircraft
  CASA C-295W Transport aircraft   Spain 1 The RTA ordered one C-295W.[56]
CASA C-212-300 Aviocar transport aircraft   Spain 1 Serial numbers 446 and 447 based with the VIP squadron at Don Mueang Airport. One of these aeroplanes is no longer in service.
Embraer ERJ-135LR VIP transport aircraft   Brazil 2 Both aircraft delivered (serial numbers 1084/HS-AMP and 1124)
British Aerospace Jetstream 41 VIP transport aircraft   UK 2 Serial numbers 41060 and 41094. Based with the VIP unit at Don Mueang Airport.
Beechcraft 1900C-1 VIP transport aircraft   US 2 Serial numbers 0169 and 0170. Based with the VIP unit at Don Mueang Airport.
Beechcraft Super King Air 200 VIP transport aircraft   US 2 Serial numbers 0342 and 1165. Based at the Lopburi army complex.
Unmanned aerial vehicles
Elbit Hermes 450 UAV   Israel 4 The RTA has taken delivery of four Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, The UAVs are operated by the 21st Aviation Battalion at the Army Aviation Centre at Lopburi.[57]
IAI Searcher UAV   Israel Unknown
AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven UAV   US Unknown

Future equipmentEdit

Ground forcesEdit

  • VT-4 Main Battle Tank – On 13 May 2016 it was reported that the RTA ordered 28 units of VT-4 MBT.[58] The RTA has signed an agreement with China to procure the VT-4 main battle tank (MBT), features an initial 28 units, with deliveries expected to commence before the end of 2016 and conclude within two years. The deal is thought to be valued at about USD150 million. If the first batch of deliveries is successful, sources indicated the RTA would look to procure additional VT-4s as it seeks to meet a long-standing requirement for up to 150 MBTs.[36]
  • T-84 Oplot-M – In March 2011, the RTA placed an order for 49 T-84s to replace its fleet of aging M41A3 Walker Bulldog light tanks. Up to 200 tanks may eventually be acquired. The RTA had yet to make an official announcement.[59][60]
  • Missile systems – The RTA want surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles with the RTA choosing HIMARS and VL MICA.[citation needed]
  • Self-propelled artillery – The RTA purchase ATMOS 2000.[citation needed]
  • Surface-to-air missiles – On 1 July 2014 it was reported that the RTA is considering buying a medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system.[61][62]

Army aviationEdit

  • UH-60 Black Hawk – On 6 August 2009, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified congress of a possible foreign military sale to Thailand of three Black Hawk helicopters and associated equipment and logistical support at an estimated cost of US$150 million.[63]
  • ERJ-135 – The RTA signed a contract with Embraer to purchase an ERJ-135 for VIP transport.[64] On 12 January 2009, Royal Thai Army signed a second contract to buy another aircraft for VIP and medivac use.[65]


Historical equipmentEdit

Name Country of Origin Type Service Quantity Note
Infantry weapons
Steyr-Mannlicher M1888   Austria-Hungary Bolt-action rifle 1890–? ?
Type 46 Siamese Mauser[66]   Siam Bolt-action rifle 1903–? ? Licensed version of Swedish Mauser and Gewehr 98 produced in Japan for Siam.
Type 47 Siamese Mauser   Siam Bolt-action carbine 1905–? ? Licensed carbine length version of Swedish Mauser and Gewehr 98 produced in Japan for Siam.
Type 46/66 Siamese Mauser   Siam Bolt-action rifle 1923–? ? Licensed version of Swedish Mauser and Gewehr 98 produced in Japan for Siam, chambered for Type 66 (8x52r) cartridge.
Type 47/66 Siamese Mauser   Siam Bolt-action carbine 1923–? ? Licensed carbine length version of Swedish Mauser and Gewehr 98 produced in Japan for Siam, chambered for Type 66 (8x52r) cartridge.
Type 66 Siamese Mauser   Siam Bolt-action rifle 1923–? ? Export version of Japanese Type 38 rifle, chambered for Type 66 (8x52r) cartridge.
Type 38 Arisaka   Japan Bolt-action rifle 1934–? ?
Type 99 Arisaka   Japan Bolt-action rifle 1940–? ?
Springfield rifle   United States Bolt-action rifle 1923–? ?
Lee–Metford Model 1888   UK Bolt-action rifle ? ?
Lee–Enfield Mark 3   United Kingdom Bolt-action rifle ? ?
Nambu pistol   Japan Semi-automatic pistol ?–? ?
Rung Paisarn RPS-001   Thailand Assault rifle 1986–? ?
MP 18   German Empire Submachine gun ?–? ?
M1A1 Thompson   United States Submachine gun 1945–? ?
M1918 BAR   United States Light machine gun 1945–? ?
Madsen   Denmark Light machine gun 1923–? ? Locally built and known as the Type 66 Light machine gun.
M1917   United States Heavy machine gun 1923–? ?
Type 77 Vicker Armstong   United Kingdom Heavy machine gun 1934–? ?
Type 97   Japan Anti-tank rifle ?–? ?
Type 25   Thailand Rocket launcher 1982–? ? 73 mm anti-tank rocket launcher.
M18   United States recoilless rifle ?–? ? 57 mm recoilless rifle.
M20   United States recoilless rifle ?–? ? 75 mm recoilless rifle.
FIM-43 Redeye   United States Man-portable air-defence system ?–? ?
Carden Loyd Mark VI   United Kingdom Tankette 1930–1952 10
Carden Loyd Mark VI Modified   United Kingdom Tankette 1934–1952 30
Carden Loyd 6 Ton Mark E   United Kingdom Light tank 1934–1952 10
Carden Loyd A4 E12   United Kingdom Amphibious light tank 1933–1952 2
Vickers 6-Ton Type B   United Kingdom Light tank 1938–1952 8
Type 95 Ha-Go   Japan Light tank 1940–1952 50
Renault U.E.   France Light tank 1940–? 5
M24 Chaffee   United States Light tank 1952–1962 20
Staghound Mark 1   United States Armored car 1949–1972 48
M4 Morris   United States Armored car 1931–1952 6
M8 Greyhound   United States Armored car 1957–1973 25
Bren Gun Carrier   United Kingdom Armored personnel carrier 1944–? 118
Type 69-ll   China Main battle tank 1987–2004 100+
Type 62   China Light tank ?-? 30
Bofors L/24 Model 1934   Sweden 150 mm field gun 1936–? 8
Bofors L/22 Model 1936   Sweden 105 mm field gun 1938–? 20
Bofors L/42 Model 1934   Sweden 105 mm field gun 1935–? 4
Bofors L/40 Model 1934   Sweden 75 mm field gun 1938–? 52
Type 63 Field gun   Siam 75 mm field gun 1920–? ?
Krupp L/30 Model 1903   German Empire 75 mm field gun 1908–? ?
Bofors L/20 Model 1929   Sweden 75 mm mountain gun 1934–? 8
Type 49 Krupp   German Empire 50 mm mountain gun 1906–1922 ?
Type 77 Bofors Model 1934   Sweden 47 mm/75 mm dual purpose gun 1934–? 32
M1A1   United States 75 mm pack howitzer 1954–? ?
Type 76 Vicker Armstrong   United Kingdom 40 mm self-propelled anti-aircraft gun 1933–? 26
Bofors L/50 Model 1930   Sweden 75 mm anti-aircraft gun 1934–? 18 8 ordered in 1934 and 10 ordered in 1937.
Type 97 90 mm   Japan Mortar 1941–? ?
Type 97 81 mm   Japan Mortar ? ?
Type 11 70 mm   Japan Mortar ? ?
Brandt 60 mm   France Mortar 1935–? ?
L-19 A Bird Dog   United States Observation aircraft 1956–? 100+
L-20 Beaver   United States Utility aircraft 1958–? 4
PC-6 Porter    Switzerland/  United States Utility aircraft 1977–1991 8 ex-Air America and Continental Air Services, Inc
C-47 Dakota   United States transport aircraft ? 3
SHORT-330   United States transport aircraft ? 2
OH-13 Sioux   United States Light observation helicopter 1974–? 12
KV-4   Japan Light observation helicopter 1963–? 6
TH-55 A Osage   United States trainer helicopter 1974–? 25
S-55   United States Utility helicopter 1958–? 5
S-62   Japan Utility helicopter ? 1
Bell 214 B   United States Utility helicopter ? 3
Bell 214 ST   United States Utility helicopter 1984–? 3
CH-47 A Chinook   United States Transport helicopter 1972–? 4
KV-107 lll   Japan Cargo helicopter ? 3
GT200 Remote Substance Detector   United Kingdom Bomb detector 2006-2010 700+[67]


Radio and Television channel listEdit

Free-to-air TVEdit

Satellite TVEdit


  • Royal Thai Army Radio Network all 126 stations

See alsoEdit


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External linksEdit