The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has given China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) two more months to honour its agreement to supply the navy with an S26T Yuan-class submarine with German-made MTU396 diesel engines, RTN spokesman Pokkrong Monthatphalin said.
The new deadline or by Aug 9 was given after hours of discussions in Bangkok on Thursday between navy chief of staff Adm Tharoengsak Sirisawat and Liu Song, a visiting vice president of CSOC, he said.
During the talks, CSOC claimed it had tried all available channels to urge the German maker of the diesel engine to approve its purchase request but to no avail, said Vice Adm Pokkrong.
CSOC said it had tried negotiating with the German firm via business-to-business and government-to-government talks as well as diplomatic approaches, he added.
Given the circumstances, CSOC offered to use a CHD620 diesel engine instead but the RTN could not agree as the offered substitute has never been used in a submarine currently used by any country in the world, he noted.
The RTN told the Chinese company the diesel engine must meet four key requirements.
It must be certified for real-world use with a submarine according to high standards; pass a safety test for real-world use; come with a warranty and after-sale services and maintenance; and suit the RTN's naval warfare needs.
Thailand procured its first Yuan-class S26T submarine from China back in 2017 for 13.5 billion baht.
The next delivery, scheduled for September 2023, may be postponed until April 2024.