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Navy chief to drop his submarine fund request

Navy chief to drop his submarine fund request

BANGKOK: Navy chief Adm Somprasong Nilsamai will drop a funding request for two more Yuan-class S26T submarines under the 2023 fiscal budget because of the economic impact of COVID-19.

ChineseCoronavirusCOVID-19militarymarine
By Bangkok Post

Friday 7 January 2022, 09:23AM


A model of the Yuan Class S26T submarine displayed at the Royal Thai Navy’s auditorium in August 2017. Photo: Apichart Jinakul / AFP

A model of the Yuan Class S26T submarine displayed at the Royal Thai Navy’s auditorium in August 2017. Photo: Apichart Jinakul / AFP

It will be the first time the navy has declined to ask for funding for its submarine procurement project, reports the Bangkok Post.

Previously, it has been forced to back down after opposition.

In the past procurement has been put on hold because requests for funding were rejected by parliament or the prime minister, a navy source said.

With the emerging Omicron variant of the coronavirus spreading rapidly, Adm Somprasong believes no one would agree with the navy pressing ahead with the submarine procurement now, the navy source said.

According to the source, the navy budget risks being slashed, because the funding the navy is seeking for the 2023 fiscal year, which starts on Oct 1, is already high.

Other naval units will also consequently suffer from a likely budget cut.

Earlier, responding to media reports that he would not request the funds, Adm Somprasong said yesterday (Jan 6) he was still weighing up the matter.

An assessment was still under way, he said, but admitted there were a lot of limitations that needed to be taken into account as a decision on the matter is made.

MGID

“Since we already have the first submarine, the second and the third will have to follow. But it remains to be seen as to when,” he said.

“If delivery of the first submarine is delayed, the second and third will most likely be, too.”

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has yet to comment further about the submarine procurement budget this fiscal year, Adm Somprasong said.

The government on May 4, 2017, signed a government-to-government contract to buy the first Yuan Class S26T at a cost of B13.5 billion from China, which was initially due to be delivered by late 2023.

Citing several problems associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, China recently put back delivery of this submarine to Thailand till April 2024, the source said.

The navy later requested full funding for two more submarines in the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years, which were both objected to by the opposition.

The funding was eventually suspended twice by Gen Prayut.

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Capt B | 09 January 2022 - 23:26:43

@PV
A severely poor standard of Communist Chinese Marine Engineering

Pooliekev | 09 January 2022 - 14:49:09

Oh no!! What will the expats find to man about now!

JohnC | 08 January 2022 - 08:48:49

Two more submarines?? WTF does Thailand need any submarines at all? Seriously!

lelecuneo | 07 January 2022 - 11:21:12

his ass must be burning like hell... wonder how much money he will loose as the deal wont happen...and all his friend wont get a THB this year from sub...in the end that the whole purpose for those guys..get the cash under the table...surely not for real defence treat reason...

 

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