A Feasibility Study of Defence Industrial Estate Establishment in Thailand: A Comparative Case Study of Chonburi, Lopburi and Kanchanaburi

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Bodin Suntud


This defence technology analysis paper is aimed at conducting a feasibility study on which province is most suitable for establishing a defence industrial base in the Kingdom of Thailand, the choices being Lopburi, Chonburi and Kanchanaburi. The author realized that there is no clear academic evidence of criteria to justify or choose regions. Therefore, the criteria were drawn from real world experiences and historically incident records, survivals, tactics, calamities, war scenes or conflicts, and discussed to make cases here. The criteria are as follows; 1) foreign aggression 2) industrial loss 3) geography 4) the ease of doing business and logistics 5) workforce readiness. The author discovered that considering a defence industrial base required a very careful investigation, in some cases, it was even much more complicated than considering a civilian industrial base. Establishing a defence industrial base also anticipates preparing a long-term platform for domestic and foreign investment on defence technology. Based on this paper’s calculation, the province of Lopburi was found to obtain the highest scores, thanks to its central strategic location, making it a very secure place for outward invasion and the lowest risk for territorial loss. Not only did the province remain untouched during the WWII, but Lopburi also was the most feasible alternative when it came to basic weapon engineering, existing and running facility and workforce that were currently working for armed services and Ministry of Defence. This significant strategic location was rationalized by Thai premier General Pleak Piboonsongkram during such wartime. However, Chonburi and Kanchanaburi, inferior in terms of the scores, were respective choices to Lopburi. If the government intends to support the defence capability for all tri-services at the same time, Chonburi might be the most possible answer because it contains shipping port, a naval dock yard, and international airport in one place. But if the government takes a step-by-step approach by first developing land weapon systems, personal unit and crew-serve weapons today, and lay plan for naval and aircraft system in the future, Lopburi is the most suitable choice.


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How to Cite
B. Suntud, “A Feasibility Study of Defence Industrial Estate Establishment in Thailand: A Comparative Case Study of Chonburi, Lopburi and Kanchanaburi”, DTAJ, vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 44–55, Oct. 2020.
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