23 Maret 2011
German type 206 submarine (photo : heiszwolf)
The Thai government has agreed to buy two second-hand Type 206A diesel electric submarines from the German Navy, official sources have confirmed to Jane's.
Payment for the purchase - which is understood to be about USD220 million - has not yet been secured, although funds are expected to be sourced from the defence budget for Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12), which commences in October.
The German Navy decommissioned four Type 206A submarines in mid-2010. The boats are 35 years old and were originally due for decommissioning between 2011 and 2015. As part of a defence review carried out by Berlin, the German Navy brought the boats' retirement date forward to save operational costs.
A senior officer from the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) told Jane's on 21 March that officials from the German Navy visited the country in late 2010 and offered the submarines to Thailand. He added that German submarines had been selected ahead of those offered by South Korea and China, who had made available Type 209s and Type 039s respectively. The RTN also held discussions with Swedish shipbuilder Kockums about the availability of Gotland-class submarines.