The Thai Cabinet has approved the launch of an $800 million procurement programme for three advanced submarines. A competitive selection process starting now will lead to a decision on a prime contractor by the end of this year, industry sources said.
It is understood the main competition will be between Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft (HDW) of Germany, offering the latest version of the Type 209, and Kockums Submarine Systems of Sweden, offering the T 96 version of the Royal Swedish Navy's new A 19 GOTLAND class. Also competing are RDM Technology of the Netherlands (offering the Moray design, a smaller derivative of the Royal Netherlands Navy's WALRUS class); Rosvoorouzhenie with a `Kilo' class variant; and DCN International of France.
A delegation from the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) visited HDW, Kockums and RDM last month. All three companies have been active in Thailand for a number of years in trying to position them selves for the long-expected submarine programme. A Thai delegation visited Rosvoorouzhenie earlier and a Russian delegation is due in Thailand soon.
RTN officers have reportedly already been trained for submarine duties in preparation for the official launch of the programme. The submarines will be the final major element in the increasingly well balanced, blue-water capable, RTN.
P-3T of The Royal Thai Navy (photo : Skyscrapercity)
In recent years, the service has ordered a light aircraft carrier from Spain; a fleet replenishment ship and six frigates from China: as well as five corvettes and a new naval dockyard, all to be fully operational by the late-1990s. Two Knox class frigates and three Lockheed P-3B Orion maritime patrol aircraft were also taken over from the US Navy, with 30 A-7E light strike aircraft to follow.
Sumber : Jane’s
Sumber : Jane’s