The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to Thailand for the Evolved Seasparrow Missiles (ESSM), associated equipment, parts and logistical support.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress about the possible sale, worth approximately $26.9m.
Under this proposed deal, Thailand will receive defence equipment including 16 ESSM, 14 tactical missiles and two telemetry missiles, along with three MK25 Quad Pack canisters, and ten MK783 shipping containers.
Moreover, the deal would cover the delivery of additional equipment, training and technical services.
The new capabilities are aimed at supporting Thailand in the provision of ship self-defence and firepower, in a bid to enhance its capacity to meet current and future naval threats.
According to the US, the new deal will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the country, by strengthening Thailand’s regional security and interoperability with the US Navy.
The principal contractors for this proposed deal are Raytheon Missile Systems, BAE Systems, Saab, and Lockheed Martin.
An advanced version of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile, the ESSM is designed to protect vessels against advanced missile threats while delivering a sophisticated ship self-defence missile.
Equipped with seven combat systems and four launching systems, the ESSM provides improved seeker sensitivity, increased propulsion, and greater weapon accuracy and agility for countering threats.
The all-weather, semi-active radar-guided missile includes an advanced fuse and enhanced firepower to bridge the capability gap between close-in air defence and local-area defence systems.
Image: A file photo showing an RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile is being launched from USS Carl Vinson. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew J Haran.