13 Oktober 2010
WS-1B multiple launch rocket system (all photos : Army Technology)
The regional military industry source of authority told Kanwa reporter formally that China transferred WS1B long range multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) production technology to Thailand.
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Thailand Embark On Local Missile Program
12 April 2007
Thailand has decided to develop and produce rockets and missiles in a radical shift towards building an indigenous defence industry, Jane's Defence Weekly reported Thursday.
The specialist publication said the programme would lift Thailand beyond its current capacity for producing explosives, ammunition and small arms under licence as well as modernising and repairing aircraft and armoured vehicles.
Citing an internal Thai defence ministry document, Jane's said Thailand will start by developing a multiple-launch rocket (MLR) with a range of 80 kilometres (48 miles).
There is already a project underway to develop a 160 millimetre MLR with a 40-kilometre range, it said.
Other projects include a "strategic rocket with turbojet engine guided by global position system and inertial navigation system," it added.
Such a rocket is significant because it implies efforts to develop a surface-to-surface missile with a range at the upper limit of the voluntary Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
The MTCR, a global disarmament group involving the United States and 33 other members, was established in 1987 to control exports of missiles which can deliver weapons of mass destruction.
The Thai armed forces do not currently have any surface-to-surface missiles in their inventory, it added.
The ministry document says funding pressures on the defence budget and encouragement by unspecified sectors for greater self-sufficiency is driving the new programme.
Thailand's King Bhumipol Adulyadej, who enjoys strong support from the armed forces which overthrew the Thai government in a bloodless coup last September, has called for a "sufficiency economy," the weekly said.
Jane's added that the new research and development programme was launched before the coup but gained formal approval when it was submitted to the country's Defence Council about a month afterwards.