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Thai Defence Budget Criticized for Lack of Modernisation Moves


webfact

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Thailand’s announcement of its 2025 defense budget has sparked controversy, with critics pointing to a missed chance for critical military reforms and modernization.

 

Despite a slight increase to 200.9 billion baht, up 2.6% from the previous year, over half the budget is earmarked for personnel costs, leaving little room for advances in defense technology.

 

The Defense Ministry’s proposal for the next fiscal year represents 5.3% of the total government expenditure of 3.7 trillion baht. Opposition figures, including Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn of the Move Forward Party, argue that this allocation prioritizes salaries and welfare over upgrading the armed forces' capabilities.

 

He highlighted that the Army plans to spend 195 million baht on repairing armored vehicles for border operations, a figure he says is inadequate given the current state of readiness.

 

A key issue raised in parliamentary debates has been the high number of inactive high-ranking officers. Despite a natural reduction of personnel costs due to retirements, opposition MPs accuse Defense Minister Sutin Klungsang of lacking a decisive plan to scale down the military hierarchy.

 

Approximately 1,200 generals are reportedly still in service, with calls for a more strategic overhaul to eliminate redundancies and merge overlapping units.

 

Another area of concern is the slow adoption of modern defense technologies. The opposition has pushed for increased investment in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and artificial intelligence for surveillance, especially along borders where human and drug trafficking are rampant.

 

The Army’s budget request includes only modest amounts for UAVs and anti-drone systems, reflecting, according to critics, a lack of a coherent drone operation strategy.

 

Further criticism was aimed at the insufficient budget for research and development, a mere 0.37% of the total defense budget. The opposition contends that now is the time to focus on home-grown defense technologies, given the low likelihood of major military threats in the near future.

 

Sutin Klungsang defended his ministry's approach, mentioning ongoing efforts to foster the local defense industry. There is, however, a perceived reluctance within the military to adopt domestically produced hardware, despite its potential for export.

 

The Defence Technology Institute’s request for an increased budget, mainly for research and development, underscores the urgent need for modernization. As the debate continues, it is clear that the direction of Thailand's defense priorities remains a contentious issue.

 

File photo courtesy: Wikipedia

 

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-- 2024-06-24

 

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11 minutes ago, webfact said:

The Army’s budget request includes only modest amounts for UAVs and anti-drone systems, reflecting, according to critics, a lack of a coherent drone operation strategy.

 

I am surprised they missed the opportunity to push for drone acquisitions, these have been fairly effective in the Ukraine War and such procurement would provide “envelope opportunity”.

They must be losing their touch…

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14 minutes ago, JoePai said:

1,200 generals  :cheesy:

😂 Yeah, instead that creates a lack of soldiers. 😉

However, looking at the photo neither modernization nor the amount of generals can teach them anything. Just look at the safety standards and rules of how to carry a weapon. Everyone is pointing in different directions. 😂

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Unfortunately, high tech equipment requires highly trained technicians to operate these types of equipments.....does the military have these people?

Then of course, there's maintenance....we know they don't like this word!

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

Despite a slight increase to 200.9 billion baht, up 2.6% from the previous year, over half the budget is earmarked for personnel costs, leaving little room for advances in defense technology.

Time to retire a few Generals and Commanders from their desk jobs.

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1 hour ago, ChrisY1 said:

Unfortunately, high tech equipment requires highly trained technicians to operate these types of equipments.....does the military have these people?

Then of course, there's maintenance....we know they don't like this word!

The aircraft carrier was a doozy

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2 hours ago, ChrisY1 said:

Unfortunately, high tech equipment requires highly trained technicians to operate these types of equipments.....does the military have these people?

Then of course, there's maintenance....we know they don't like this word!

Yes they do!!! Thai maintenance and servicing is;- When it breaks down get it fixed!!!!5555😂🤣😂🤣

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9 hours ago, realfunster said:

 

I am surprised they missed the opportunity to push for drone acquisitions, these have been fairly effective in the Ukraine War and such procurement would provide “envelope opportunity”.

They must be losing their touch…

That's for the next budget.

Believe me, they do not miss an opportunity.

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10 hours ago, realfunster said:

 

I am surprised they missed the opportunity to push for drone acquisitions, these have been fairly effective in the Ukraine War and such procurement would provide “envelope opportunity”.

They must be losing their touch…

They usually touch inappropriately.

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10 hours ago, webfact said:

Approximately 1,200 generals are reportedly still in service, with calls for a more strategic overhaul to eliminate redundancies and merge overlapping units.

Holy Cr@p Why so many #00 should be More than enough.

Look at the US. 

How many generals does an Army have?

The U.S. Code explicitly limits the total number of four-star officers that may be on active duty at any given time. The total number of active-duty general or flag officers is capped at 219 for the Army, 150 for the Navy, 171 for the Air Force, 64 for the Marine Corps, and 21 for the Space Force.

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