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.
Thailand has chosen to buy major defense equipment from China, Russia and European countries and not their long time supplier, the US. Thai Navy has vouched for Chinese-made submarines and the air force has picked South Korean T50 TH trainer jets, instead of American Textron AirLand Scorpion,
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Pakistan signed a contract to purchase two Type 054 A frigates from China on June 1, taking the total number of ships of that type ordered to four, the delivery of which is expected by 2021. The contract for 2 warships for Pakistan Navy has been signed with China Shipbuilding Trading Company Ltd (CSTC) in Rawalpindi at Ministry of Defence Production according to a Pakistan MoD press release
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Thailands ministry of defense has terminated the contract to buy Ukrainian tanks due to the failure of supplies of the equipment from the Kievs side. According to the contract signed in 2011, the Thai army was to receive 49 tanks by October 2017
Thailand has expressed interest in building military cooperation with China, particularly in development of small arms and security equipment. Thai defense ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich was quoted as saying by Reuters Wednesday that Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan had talks with his Chinese counterpart, Chang Wanquan about building military production facilities in Thailand, during his visit to Beijing last week
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