Thailand - Several Defense Equipment Replacement were Postponed Due to Budget Cuts

 Replacement of AH-1F and C-130H an also second and third S-26T submarines were delayed due to defence budget cuts (all photos : AAG)

Thailand plans to cut the defense budget for the fiscal year 2022 in response to the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak. This will be Thailand's third consecutive military budget cut if approved by the House of Representatives of Thailand in June 2021.The annual budget summary for the year 2022 in Thailand was recently published by the Thai Government Budget Office. Represents Thailand's defense budget (which will start in October 2021) that has been proposed around 203.280 million baht ($ 6.5 billion).

According to the 2022 budget document, this shows that the defense budget has been cut to about 11,000,000,000 baht (or 5% cut) compared to the annual defense budget Year 2021 that has been allocated 214,530,000,000 baht.The allocation of the defense budget for the year 2021 has been cut down to approximately 17,000,000,000 baht (or 7% cut) compared to the annual defense budget 2020 approved at 234,740,000 baht.However, in terms of the overall proportion of the budget for the year 2022 proposed by the Thai government the defense budget is raised to 6.6 percent. While in the fiscal year 2021, Defense accounted for 6.5 percent.

The Thai government has been forced to reduce the overall expense budget allocation plan by 5.6 percent. This is largely due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.In 2020, the defense budget ratio was 7.2 percent. The total budget of the country and in 2019 was approximately 7.5 percent. Janes analyzed the observations that the last time the Thai defense budget ratio was below 7 percent was the year 2006.In the framework of the defense budget for the year 2022, the budget summary document shows that The Royal Thai Army will receive a budget that is about 99,370,000 baht (equivalent to 49 percent of the total defense budget).

The Royal Thai Navy received a budget around 41.3 million baht and the Royal Thai Air Force received a budget around 38.4 million baht respectively.Several years of ongoing defense budget cuts have resulted in the modernization of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, including a new attack helicopter to replace Bell AH-1F Cobra delayed by the Army.Chinese S26T submarines, second and third phases, the Thai Navy that has been postponed for another year and a new transport aircraft to replace Lockheed Martin C-130H, Royal Thai Air Force, that should start in the year 2022.