Thai government has approved its Navy’s plan to procure S26T (Thailand) submarines from China, and has allocated THB13.5 billion (USD383 million) to support first of three.
It is included in Thailand's 2017 Budget Bill which has been approved by Thailand's National Legislative Assembly, Bangkok Post reported.
Additional funding is expected to be allocated for two additional submarines, with total funding for Royal Thai Navy's three-boat programme to reach THB36 billion.
It is expected the vessel would be ready to enter service in six years’ time. Navy spokesman ACM Jumpol Loompikanon said: “This first submarine will cost considerably more than the other two -- which will be purchased later -- because the 13.5 billion baht will also cover weapon system costs, training courses for the crews, visits by Chinese personnel and various maintenance costs”.
The S26T is reportedly to be based on the Type 039A SSK of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) also refered as Yuan class. It was first commissioned in 2008 with a displacement of 3,600 tons and a length of 75 meters. It may feature an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system as an auxiliary system to a regular diesel-electric power.
Thailand Navy is eyeing for larger platforms such as landing platforms or docks (LPDs) and frigates in the coming years and also has planned to retire Ratcharit Prabparapak-class missile boats over next 10 years. The moves are part of its efforts to prepare the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) for future maritime security challenges, the service will progressively decommission its Ratcharit and Prabparapak classes of missile-armed patrol boats by 2026,
The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is expected to take a month to investigate the cause of the fighter aircraft that went down killing the pilot during a childrens day airshow at the souther airbase of Hat Yai on Saturday. RTAF Security Office director Vice Air Marshal Sorakit Mangsing said one month was needed to investigate numerous factors which could have caused the incident
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
Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has ordered two additional mission-ready twin-engine EC725 (now marketed as the H225M Caracal) multirole utility helicopters that are equipped with fast roping, cargo sling, search light and electro-optical systems (EOS). The order is part of the continuation of its fleet strengthening programme agreement launched in 2012
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