Navy chooses Chinese-made submarines

Navy chooses Chinese-made submarines

The Royal Thai Navy’s Submarine Squadron was officially launched at Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri province on July 7, 2014. (File photo by Thiti Wannamontha)
The Royal Thai Navy’s Submarine Squadron was officially launched at Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri province on July 7, 2014. (File photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

The Royal Thai Navy has chosen Chinese-made models for its 36-billion-baht submarine project.

For the price, it will also get three submarines, plus an eight-year weaponry and parts support package, as well as training.

Navy chief Adm Kraisorn Chansuvanich said on Wednesday the committee tasked with choosing submarines had voted 14-3 in favour of Chinese models.

"The committee was not influenced by anyone. Its members are modern, smart officers," he said.

Given the budget, the committee had considered models made by six countries. Besides China, they are Russia, France, Sweden, Germany and South Korea.   

The Chinese models won for value for money since the same budget would buy only two units from the other countries, excluding weaponry, he said.

"If the cabinet approves the budget, the subs will be commissioned over the next 6-7 years," he said.

Thailand has an edge in that the subs of other countries will not enter the Gulf of Thailand but Thai submarines can go anywhere, he added.

"They are more like a deterrent, one that will reduce our dependence on surface vessels," the naval chief said.

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