Thailand Delivers 10 Chaiseri First Win 4X4 Armored Tactical Vehicles to Bhutan

Thailand Delivers 10 Chaiseri First Win 4X4 Armored Tactical Vehicles to Bhutan

On May 27, 2024, the Ministry of Defense of Thailand officially handed over a fleet of 10 armored tactical vehicles (ATVs) to the Royal Bhutan Police during a solemn ceremony held at the ministry’s headquarters.

The ceremony, presided over by Defense Minister Sutin Klungsang, saw the attendance of dignitaries such as General Porphol Maneerin, chairman of the Defense Technology Institute (DTI), and Nopparat Kulhiran, chairman of Chaiseri Metal & Rubber Co Ltd. Representatives from the Bhutanese embassy in Bangkok were also present to receive the equipment on behalf of the Himalayan kingdom’s police force.

The Chaiseri First Win is an advanced defense vehicle, equipped with numerous high-end specifications to meet the rigorous demands of modern missions. This vehicle is powered by a 300-horsepower engine, offering ballistic and mine protection compliant with STANAG 4569 level 2 standards, with an option for level 3.

Designed to accommodate ten people (9+1), the First Win features a right-hand drive and a monocoque structure without a chassis, optimizing safety and maneuverability. It also includes a run-flat system that allows it to continue driving up to 50 km even after a tire puncture.

The vehicle’s dimensions include a length of approximately 6,100 mm, a width of 2,400 mm, and a similar height of 2,400 mm, with a ground clearance of 450 mm. The curb weight is about 11,000 kg, with a payload of 1,500 kg and a gross weight of approximately 12,500 kg. The vehicle is also equipped with a 200-liter fuel tank, providing a combat range of 650 km.

In terms of performance, the First Win ATV can reach a maximum speed of 110 km/h, with the ability to climb slopes of 60% and side slopes of 30%. It can overcome vertical obstacles up to 500 mm and ford water depths of 1,000 mm.

The vehicle is armed with a 12.7 mm heavy machine gun, a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher, and a 7.62 mm medium machine gun, with the option to install a Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS). Optional features include a Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS), thermal night driving capability, an automatic fire suppression system, VHF tactical communication, an intercommunication system, a Mobile Assault Ramp System (MARS), and a Laser Warning System (LWS).

The vehicle is also equipped with an 18,000 lbs self-recovery winch, an ABS braking system, and a situational awareness system including day and infrared cameras, ensuring optimal survival and superior performance in all conditions.

The introduction of the First Win ATVs, equipped to meet high protection standards, demonstrates Thailand’s commitment to helping Bhutan modernize its police forces and enhance its preparedness for emergency situations, including natural disasters and internal security operations. These vehicles enable Bhutanese forces to access difficult terrains and better protect their operators in hostile environments.

This cooperation is also manifested through regular exchanges and training programs, highlighting the importance of regional security collaboration. This initiative aligns with Bhutan’s economic and social development goals while strengthening regional stability.

According to the CIA Factbook 2023, the Royal Bhutan Army is estimated to have about 8,000 active military and security service personnel. The military equipment inventories and acquisitions of the Royal Bhutan Army are primarily provided by India, which has supplied most of the equipment used by Bhutanese forces. This ongoing support underscores the strong defense and security relationship between Bhutan and India, which is critical for Bhutan’s military readiness and operational capabilities.

Additionally, these same Chaiseri First Win armored tactical vehicles provided by Thailand are being used by a Bhutanese contingent deployed in the Central African Republic for the United Nations mission (MINUSCA). At the request of the UN, Bhutan deployed its first-ever peacekeeping military contingent, a Light Quick Reaction Force (LQRF), to MINUSCA in October 2022. This contingent will complete its year-long mission by November 2023 and will be replaced by a second contingent from the Royal Bhutan Army.

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