DSME DW3000H frigates (all photos : 7seas)
Frigate Buy Okays
The cabinet yesterday approved a navy proposal to buy two top-class frigates costing around 30 billion baht within the next five years.
According to a source, the navy has turned to frigates following the government's rejection of its preferred option to purchase submarines from
The navy has yet to choose a supplier. Germany
It favours frigates from European shipyards which have good track records of building such top-quality frigates, the source said.
are tipped to win the contract to supply the warships for the navy, he added. Spain
However, senior naval officers are concerned that some politicians might try to push for the purchase of Chinese-made frigates.
The navy currently has two frigate flotillas that are capable of launching surface-to-surface missiles. They are all equipped with helipads.
Frigates can defend national waters, operate with fast attack craft, battle other surface vessels, defend against aircraft, as well as protect other vessels and combat submarines.
The navy also intends to keep the frigate, HTMS Naresuan, in service. The cabinet yesterday allowed the navy to borrow 3.29 billion baht from 2012 to 2014 to pay for a refit and to modernise its computer systems which will allow the vessel to link up with the information systems used by the air force's Gripen jet fighters.
The cost of the work will come to 495 million baht this fiscal year, 1.33 billion baht in fiscal year 2013 and 1.46 billion baht in fiscal year 2014.
The cabinet also approved yesterday a request by the army for permission to borrow 2.82 billion baht to buy helicopters. This will take place through to the 2014 fiscal year.
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18 Maret 2012
Principal dimensions of the DW 3000H are a length of 114 meters, a beam of 13.8 meters, a depth of 8.2 meters, a draft of 3.9 meters, and a displacement of 3,000 tons.
The frigate’s propulsion system is a combined diesel and diesel arrangement driving two controllable pitch propellers for a top speed of 28 knots. To improve seakeeping characteristics, the hull has a pair of adjustable fin stabilizers and two pairs of bilge keels (strakes running along the length of the hull).
In common with other contemporary warship designs, the DW 3000H features an integrated mast – Thales’ I-Mast 500 most likely fitted with ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile) uplink/control capability. Fire-control equipment includes a forward-facing gunfire-control director – a Thales Sting – atop the bridgehouse and a rear-facing Thales MIRADOR electro-optical director atop the helicopter hangar.
The DW 3000H is to be multirole frigate with a focus on anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Primary weapon systems are a single Oto Melara 76 mm gun in a stealth turret, an eight-cell vertical launch system for surface-to-air missiles – very likely the ESSM, eight surface-to-surface missiles – most likely American-built Harpoons or the equivalent Korean-built SSM-700K in two quad launchers located amidships, two 30 mm MSI DS30 guns fitted atop the hangar deck and a Phalanx close-in weapon system that is mounted one deck higher. A pair of decoy launchers is also fitted.
The ASW suite comprises two triple-torpedo tubes in enclosed recesses on the main deck level as well as what appear to be two anti-torpedo decoy launchers mounted atop the hangar deck. A hull-mounted sonar is fitted in a retractable sonar dome, though it is not clear if a towed array system is fitted.
The frigate can accommodate one helicopter in the hangar. The display model shows a Lynx helicopter.
Stealthy features include an enclosed foredeck, enclosed boat decks on either side of the superstructure, and enclosed bridge wings that extend from the slab-sided superstructure, as well as funnels that are shielded by the superstructure in profile.
There are indications that if the Thai government decides to move ahead with the frigate acquisition, the Thai Navy’s long-standing and, oft delayed, submarine plans may not be adversely affected.