Navy chief appeals decision to cut budget for new frigate

Navy chief appeals decision to cut budget for new frigate

Royal Thai Navy commander Adm Adoong Pan-iam (photo: Royal Thai Navy)
Royal Thai Navy commander Adm Adoong Pan-iam (photo: Royal Thai Navy)

Royal Thai Navy commander Adm Adoong Pan-iam is appealing the House's decision to reject its request for a budget to fund the purchase of a new frigate, saying a new ship is needed to bolster the nation's maritime defences, a source said.

The source said the navy chief had sent a letter to the chairman of the special House committee tasked with vetting the 2024 budget, urging him to reconsider the cut.

In the letter, Adm Adoong said a new frigate is essential to the navy's core mission of maintaining the country's territorial sovereignty, especially since the navy is planning to decommission its current frigates over the next couple of years.

To ensure the navy's readiness to carry out its mission, the navy objects to the subcommittee's decision and asks the main committee to reinstate the fund, the letter said.

According to the source, HTMS Chao Phraya and HTMS Bang Pakong will be decommissioned in 2026, while HTMS Naresuan will follow in 2034 and HTMS Taksin in 2035.

The navy had earlier asked for 17 billion baht from the 2024 budget to fund its frigate procurement plan, which it planned to use over the next five years.

Approximately 1.7 billion baht would be spent in the first year, according to the source.

A number of shipyards have expressed their interest in building a frigate for the navy, including several from the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy, Turkey, and South Korea, as well as local companies.

The new frigate, with a storage displacement of 4,000 tonnes, will be equipped with stealth technology, air defence and 3D radar systems.

It will be deployed along the Andaman Coast, to oversee security around the Land Bridge megaproject, the source said.

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