Navy denies it is seeking more funds

Navy denies it is seeking more funds

Chief says LPD order already approved, budget sought only for training

Models of Chinese submarines at a defence exhibition held in Nonthaburi in November last year. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Models of Chinese submarines at a defence exhibition held in Nonthaburi in November last year. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

The navy on Tuesday denied news reports that it is seeking 6.1 billion baht for the purchase of an amphibious transport dock, also known as a landing platform dock (LPD).

Navy spokesperson Vice Adm Prachachart Sirisawat said the reports were nothing but unfounded rumours. 

"The navy has not sought any cabinet approval on any new LPD procurement as reported by media as the navy was already granted a budget by the cabinet last November," Vice Adm Prachachart said.

The comment was in response to media reports on Tuesday about the navy allegedly seeking cabinet approval on a new LPD procurement project at a time when the government should be focusing all its energies on the Covid-19 outbreak. The reports have also drawn heavy criticism on social media. 

Vice Adm Prachachart said what was actually submitted to the cabinet was a request to send a committee to inspect the LPD blueprint and have staff trained on the system once the Covid-19 ends. 

The navy had last November signed a contract with China to build an LPD, a source said. The new LPD, with a displacement of 20,000 tonnes and costing 6.1 billion baht, will be used along with a submarine and in disaster-relief operations, the source said. 

The LPD is expected to take three years to build and should be delivered by 2023, the source said. 

Earlier on Tuesday, a source at Government House said Deputy Defence Minister Chaichan Changmongkol wanted to seek cabinet approval for the purchase of a new LPD worth 6.1 billion, but later changed his mind and withdrew the request from the agenda.

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