25 Januari 2012

Submarine Purchase Plan to be Refloated

25 Januari 2012

Type 206A is a diesel electric submarine with 48.6m in length and displacement 498 ton (photo : denizaltici)

Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat yesterday vowed to re-examine the navy's plan to buy submarines.

On his first day in office at the Defence Ministry, ACM Sukumpol said he would continue to push for the implementation of incomplete plans and projects, including the submarine purchase.

"We will look at it. The navy must explain to the public why the submarine purchase is an appropriate project," ACM Sukumpol said. The minister also told navy chief Adm Surasak Roonroengrom to clarify details of the submarine project to the cabinet and the public.

The navy had planned to buy six second-hand submarines from Germany.

However, as the cabinet has not yet approved the plan, Germany has since sold two of the submarines to Colombia. The navy now hopes to buy the remaining four subs for 5.5 billion baht.

"If the navy had submarines, the balance of military power in the region would change," a navy source said.

He warned Cambodia may well obtain submarines before Thailand as it can rely on its alliances with "superpowers".

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