Thailand will buy three Chinese-built submarines for a combined price of $1 billion.
The Thai navy's proposal to procure the three Yuan-class S26T subs from China has been put on hold since last year by the then deputy premier who is concurrently defense minister.
Now that Thai Deputy Premier Prawit Wongsuwan has given his nod, the navy will use its fiscal 2017 budget amounting to approximate $333 million to buy the first Chinese sub next year with the two others to follow over the next few years, Xinhua reported Friday.
The deputy premier said the navy will only pay for the Chinese subs on instalment basis which will span a ten-year's time from next year.
The Yuan-class S26T sub is a derivative, export version of the Yuan-class 039A sub deployed by the Chinese navy and is fitted with an air-independent propulsion as an auxiliary system to a regular diesel-electric power.