The Thai Navy has confirmed that it will pay 36 billion baht (US$1.1 billion for three submarines from China equipped with air independent (AIP) propulsion.
The Chinese submarines won the bid against reputable manufacturers from Russia, Germany, Sweden and South Korea as it offered the best value for money.
Confirming the purchase, Thai Navy chief Adm Kraisorn Chansuvanich said on Wednesday the committee tasked with choosing submarines had voted 14-3 in favour of Chinese models. "The committee was not influenced by anyone. Its members are modern, smart officers," he was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post.
Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan was quoted in the local media as saying, “we did so after looking at submarines of various countries and found China’s to be the best value. We had to look at the price, quality and other aspects.” Prawit did not say when the submarines might be delivered. The purchase decision will now go to the cabinet for approval.
For the price, Thailand will receive three submarines plus weapons and training for the Royal Thai Navy’s Submarine Squadron that was launched at Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri province last year. In comparison, rival manufacturers were only willing to give two submarines without any weapons.
The submarines are believed to be the S 20, the export version of the Type 039A which carry an AIP propulsion system, allowing the subs to remain under water for a longer time compared to conventional diesel-electric submarines. They carry a variety of weapons including torpedoes, and vertical launch missiles besides sensors to detect intruding ships and submarines.
Thailand may plan to purchase submarines for its navy as an effort to modernize its armed forces. Defence minister Prawit Wongsuwon was quoted as saying by Bangkok Post on Wednesday that the country needs to equip its navy, who wants Thailands fleet to be on par with neighboring countries
The Thai Navy will rework funding pattern for the purchase of three Chinese submarines and resubmit the proposal to the cabinet for approval. The purchase proposal was on the cabinet agenda last week but withdrawn amid a report the Defence Ministry wanted the navy to spread payments for the submarines over 10 years rather than seven, Thai media reported
Thailand looks likely to scuttle plans to buy Chinese submarines and instead purchase frigate armed with the latest weaponry. Indications that there is a change of plans in Bangkok came from a statement by newly appointed Royal Thai Navy Chief, Admiral Na Areenij
Thailand is seeking budget approval to create two squadrons of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for the countrys air force. The squadrons will be based at wing 4 in Nakhon Sawan, which is currently made up of four squadrons of Lead-in jet fighters, F-16 fighter jets, and Arava patrol aircraft, Air Force Commander ACM Tritos Sonchaeng was quoted as saying by Bangkok post Saturday
The Thai Navy has deferred a cabinet decision to purchase Chinese submarines worth US$1.1 billion till September 30 and has launched a public support campaign for the sub procurement plan
Defending the proposed purchase of Chinese submarines, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has said that state funds can be better utilized in purchasing the three subs than leaving it open for misappropriation. The Prime Minister's comments yesterday quoted in the Thai media have kicked off a storm in Thailand as it implies loose check over state finances and the possibility of corruption
Thai experts have questioned the utility of buying Chinese submarines on grounds that the countrys Navy is better off with surface ships and the funds could be utilized for a national healthcare project. A procurement committee of the Thai Navy last week voted to buy three Chinese S-20 submarines for 36 billion Bhat (US$1
Sea Ceptor Supersonic Missile Defence System Offered to Indian Navy
Iran Shot Ukrainian Plane Owing to F-35 Scare
11 US Troops Injured When Iran Fired Fateh, Qiam Missiles on US'...
Damen to Setup Shipbuilding & Repair Facility in Bangladesh
Algeria In Talks With Russia for a Dozen Su-57 Jets
France “Obstructing” Turkey-Eurosam Missile Defence System Project: Turkish Official
Junked Railway Rake Mistook for Indian ICBM
Flypast during Qatar National Day Hints at Doha's Interest in Pakistani JF-17
Several joint production and direct procurement programs could be halted if the US and Europe carry through with their threat...
Sanctions-hit Iran has found ingenious ways to develop military hardware
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating the defence industry to aid and improve human decision-making
Upgrade of Russias Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters to equip them with armaments, radar, sensors and engines from the more powerful Su-35...
US companies sanctioned by China for supplying weapons to Taiwan may be denied rare earth elements (REEs), which have critical...
While the US F-35 stealth aircraft has become one the fastest selling fighter jets in the world aircraft market, thanks...