Army commander-in-chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong has cut the budget of the army for fiscal 2020 by 30% and returned the portion to state coffers for the government to spend on its operations to cope with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
A source at the army said Gen Apirat postponed many spending projects to facilitate the cut as ordered by the government that needed money to fight against COVID-19.
The postponed projects included the procurement of 50 Stryker armored vehicles worth 4.5 billion baht from the United States. The Styker procurement project was rescheduled for 2021 and 2022 fiscal years.
The source said that the armored vehicle procurement project could not be terminated because the cabinet and the US Congress had approved it.
Under the deal, the US will totally deliver about 130 Stryker armored vehicles including 30 giveaways plus ambulances, patrol vehicles, commanders’ vehicles and mortar carriers.
The procurement project was a favor from the US under its Foreign Military Sales program thanks to good and longstanding military ties between both countries, the source said.