Thailand has signed a deal with a Chinese shipbuilding company to buy a Type 071E landing platform dock (LPD) warship.
China and Thailand Navy signed the agreement in Beijing on Monday, with the general manager of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC), Yang Jincheng, and the commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy, Luechai Ruddit signing the documents, according to a statement CSSC released on Tuesday.
This is the first time China has exported an LPD, the statement said. The statement did not provide further details, including the ship's worth or when the ship will be delivered.
The Type 071 LPD is a 20,000 ton-class warship that can carry combat personnel and equipment, including air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC), amphibious assault vehicles, tanks and helicopters.
It is part of the main battle equipment being used by China's People's Liberation Army Navy.
Thailand could use the warship to conduct naval transport missions, boosting the country's troop deployment capability in the high seas, It can also be used for civilian purposes, like disaster relief and humanitarian rescue missions, because as a large naval platform, it can carry relief goods and get victims out of disaster areas, Global tims reported.
The variant of the Type 071 for Thailand is called the Type 071E. It could be a customized version based on the needs of the Thai navy.