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Prawit confirms B13.5bn sub order

BANGKOK: The procurement of the first B13.5-billion Chinese-made submarine will take place as scheduled this year, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has confirmed.

Bangkok Post

Saturday 18 February 2017, 10:28AM

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon. Photo: Bangkok Post
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon. Photo: Bangkok Post

Gen Prawit, who is also defence minister, yesterday said the Yuan Class S26T, the first of three Chinese-manufactured submarines Thailand wishes to buy, will be purchased in accordance with the procurement time frame.

The terms of reference (ToR) will be drafted after receiving approval from the Cabinet, he said.

Gen Prawit said he believed the Royal Thai Navy will submit the purchase proposal to the ministry soon and it will be forwarded to the Cabinet for approval.

It is expected the first vessel would be ready to enter service in six years’ time, sources said.

Gen Prawit’s comment followed criticism the submarine purchase was being dragged out and that a purchase proposal had not been forwarded to the cabinet for approval yet.

If the navy does not obtain the green light for the procurement within the next month, the purchase would be delayed as it would come under next year's fiscal budget, critics said.

Gen Prawit said the navy has secured B13.5 billion to purchase the first boat.

Part of the cost has been included in the Royal Thai Navy's allocation in the 2017 Budget Bill already approved by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), he said.

Further payments will be stretched out over the next seven years. Payment for the other two boats should be completed within 11 years.

Also, the cabinet has acknowledged the project would be going ahead since August last year, he said.

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A navy source said the purchase of the Yuan Class S26T, the first of three submarines which the navy intends to acquire at a total cost of 36 billion baht, should be made sometime this year.

All three submarines are expected to be in service within 11 years.

If all goes to plan, Thailand will have its first submarine in service since the early 1950s.

One submarine will be stationed in the Gulf of Thailand, another in the Andaman Sea, while the third will replace one of the other two vessels that are undergoing maintenance.

According to the navy, procurement of the first submarine will be conducted in a government-to-government deal after the cabinet gives its final approval.

The Chinese S26T craft has a submerged displacement of 2,600 tonnes and is equipped with an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system that allows the submarine to stay under water for up to three weeks at a time, according to the navy.

This first submarine will cost considerably more than the other two -- which will be purchased later -- because the 13.5 billion baht will also cover weapon system costs, training courses for the crews, visits by Chinese personnel and various maintenance costs.


Read original story here.



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Kurt | 22 February 2017 - 11:26:07

Thinking of buying subs from China makes you laugh, because:
-- The Chinese will bug and 'remote control' the subs.--
The Chinese will register anything  of the thai sub moves, where they sail, how deep, how many crewmembers are sleeping. Etc.
When such a thai sub commander direct his periscope on China during exercise trips in South Chinese sea, the sub ballast tanks automatically will be filled with air and make the sub floating to say 'hello' to Chinese friends.

Thailand should buy subs in Europe or usa.
Not make themselves depend on China who will silently remote control the subs.
A unwise strategic decision at this moment seen the problems/tensions in the region between Asian countries..

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Kurt | 21 February 2017 - 20:18:12

The long time owned aircraft carrier, actually a heli carrier, built in Spain, is a good example of non needed navy play toys.
There are no heli's and no aircrafts that can use this aircraft carrier.
It is moored for thai tourist visitor purpose. 
Foreign tourists  not allowed to visit for security reasons.
Which is very funny, because the whole thai aircraft carrier lay out can be seen on internet in Europe.

Well, now, is there any thai authority able to inform the thai nation why Thailand needs submarines?

No country wants to disturb Thailand. Why would they?

Thai national security problems are internal, at land, in the south. 
No submarines needed for that.
1: No thai likes it under water, to many ghosts. Thai mama's not allow their sons to 'work' on a submarine.
2: Thai waters are not deep enough for submarines
3: 1 + 2 Are good reasons for thai navy just to sail submarines at surface.

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jogi | 19 February 2017 - 11:53:19

the last time the navy tried to get there toi's, it was two scrap secondhand submarines from germany. they get stopt that time by a very wise and powerful person. two of the many reason: there is no tread to thailand from any ASEAN memberstate's and others, and specially the Andaman Sea has not the deep waters for submarine's. now, the government is under military rule, so first the navy, next  the airforce and army will get there new toy's, nothing can stop them,(so they think) but nothing will last for ever. there was bigger military dictatorship's in other country's, who was taken down by the people, it's just a matter of time 

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Discover Thainess | 18 February 2017 - 16:39:28

I am sure we can all think of a million better uses for these public funds, from infrastructure improvements to public transportation, schools, hospitals, waste treatment : the list is endless! Why on earth does thailand need subs?? Which country is going to invade thailand for goodness sake ??

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