20 November 2010
ST Marine's LPD for Royal Thai Navy (image : TAF)
Singapore Technologies (ST) Marine has released details of the landing platform dock (LPD) ship that the company is building for the Royal Thai Navy (RTN).
A model displayed by ST Marine at the Euronaval 2010 exhibition in Paris depicted a vessel similar to the Republic of Singapore Navy's (RSN's) Endurance-class landing ship tank. However, there is a key difference in the deletion of the bow ramp and its replacement with a starboard side door and ramp (about 6 m wide), providing access for light vehicles and personnel.
Construction of the Thai LPD started in mid-2009 and delivery is scheduled for the second half of 2012. The procurement contract is valued at about USD135 million and included an order for two 23 m Fast Craft Utility (FCUs) and two 13 m Landing Craft Vehicle and Personnel (LCVPs).
The two FCUs (or Landing Craft Mechanised) are accommodated in a stern dock while the two LCVPs (or Fast Craft Equipment and Utility) are mounted on davits either side of the superstructure.
The propulsion system includes two Caterpillar C280-12 diesel engines, each rated at 4060 kW, driving two controllable pitch propellers. A bow thruster is also fitted. Maximum speed is listed as 17 kt and range at 12 kt is greater than 5000 n miles. Electrical power is provided by four Caterpillar 3512B 900 kW gensets.
Terma is providing its C-Flex combat management system initially with three multifunction consoles, a C-Search radar and sensor suite (including a SCANTER 4100 air and surface surveillance radar and combined identification, friend-or-foe system) and a C-Fire electro-optical director with thermal imaging, TV camera and eye-safe laser rangefinder.
Armament comprises an Oto Melara 76 mm Super Rapid gun forward and what appear to be two MSI Seahawk 30 mm mounts amidships. A single machine-gun mount is fitted on either bridge wing.
The LPD's load-carrying capacity is estimated to be in excess of 1,000 tons, given that its deadweight (displacement including the crew, passengers, cargo, fuel, water and stores less the lightship weight) is approximately 1,600 tons. A force of more than 300 troops can be embarked.
For comparison, each of the four Endurance-class ships can reportedly embark 18 main battle tanks, 20 trucks or infantry fighting vehicles plus around 350 troops. The RSN vessels have an overall length of 141 m, beam of 21 m, draught of 5 m and a full load displacement of about 8,500 tons.
The Thai LPD has a ship's company of 120 personnel (plus 15 in the embarked air group), which is almost twice as many as the RSN vessel and suggests that the level of systems automation in the new ship is inferior to the Endurance class.