A source from the Royal Thai Army has told China’s People’s Daily Online that Thailand is more interested in purchasing the QW-18 portable air defense missile system from China instead of the FD-2000, the export version of the HQ-9 surface-to-air defense missile, due to economic concerns.
The FD-2000 system has been in the news recently after Turkey controversially chosen the Chinese system for the nation’s next-generation long-range air defense missile over the US PAC-3 and Russian S-300.
China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation, the manufacturer of the system, sought to introduce the FD-2000 to Thailand along with the FL-3000N short-range Close-in Weapon System at a defense expo in Bangkok earlier this month.
However, the source said the Royal Thai Army has not yet decided whether to purchase FD-2000 because it could cost too much money for Thailand to operate and maintain the system. The Thai military is however considering buying the QW-18 portable air defense missile, also designed by China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation, to replace its 12.7mm anti-aircraft guns, the source said.