25 Januari 2013
Jiangkai II class frigates (photo : US Navy)
Bangkok to talk frigate purchase with Beijing
The government has formed a committee to negotiate with a Chinese team on purchase of three frigates to enhance Thai’s naval strength in the resourceful Gulf of Thailand, officials said. Both the sides will work out details of the state-to-state frigate purchase agreement the groundwork of which was laid during the visit of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Thailand in November 2012.
The Thai government has recently approved the purchase of two medium-sized frigates with a budget of 1 billion U.S. dollars after denying allegation about the countrys navy persistent request for submarines. However, Beijing had offered three of its Type 054T frigates at a very lower rate and the number of the frigates on conditions that Bangkok can not be denied. Some source said these special offer include six Z-9EC ASW helicopters.
Officials said the armed forced division had planned to utilize budgetary allocations of the 1 billion U.S. dollar fund, approved by the Yingluck Cabinet for the procurement of the frigates, is to be spent for a 10-year period, beginning from current fiscal year. The three frigates are unlikely be procured at the same time.
Type 054T frigate may be an improved version of the Type 054A frigate, possibly designated F40T, for which discussions have been held between Thailand and China.
Officials said commissioning of the type 054T frigates would help the capability of the Thai maritime force in Anti-submarine warfare in the Gulf of Thailand, the dimension of which had changed a lot in the last one decade amid growing interest of Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam in the area.
Officials also said Malaysia also plans to acquire two more Scorpène class submarines and Vietnam has recently purchased from Russia six Kilo class submarines and Russian submarine have already been delivered, the delivery of all six submarines will be completed before 2016 and most important thing is Cambodia has already started Submarine project.
Thailand and its neighbor Cambodia were on the edge of conflict in the Gulf in the past 10 years over oil and gas exploration by the latter in the disputed areas. Both the countries had engaged in legal battle over the disputed areas in an international court.
Besides, Thailand is still running a legal battle against another neighbor, Malaysia, over maritime boundary and also the most revealing public statement by any military top brass on the nature and consequences of the Thai Deep South conflict since violence resumed in January 2004.
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Thai Navy to acquire 2 frigates to beef up maritime force
24 September 2012
Jiangkai II class frigates (photo : Militaryphotos)
BANGKOK (Xinhua) -- The Thai government has recently approved the purchase of two medium-sized frigates with a budget of 1 billion U.S. dollars after denying allegation about the country's navy persistent request for submarines.
The ships will beef up the capability of the Thai maritime force in patrolling the country's territorial waters in the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea, the navy said.
Navy Chief Admiral Surasak Rounroengrom has officially denied media reports that they prefer frigates made in China than those made in Germany.
The admiral said that the navy is still waiting for studies and suggestions by an ad hoc procurement committee to decide where these frigates should be procured.
The navy, which had been earlier reported to be interested in buying a fleet of four second-hand U-206A submarines from Germany, will meticulously consider the German-made frigates but it is not also discounting the China option, a high-ranking navy officer said.
The 1-billion-US dollar fund, approved by the Yingluck Cabinet for the procurement of the frigates, is to be spent for a 10-year period, beginning from current fiscal year. The two frigates are unlikely be procured at the same time, the navy officer said.
The navy is reportedly looking for boats with an approximate 4, 000-ton displacement, which might be either brand-new or secondhand, depending on specifications and preferences of the commanding admirals.
F122 Bremen class frigates (photo : Militaryphotos)
The two frigates to be acquired will replace two US-made, Knox- class frigates, namely HTMS Phutthayodfa Chulalok and HTMS Phutthalertla Napalai, both scheduled to be decommissioned in 2015, Defense Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat said.
The two frigates would be capable of engaging in three possible combat scenarios with simultaneous maneuverability: anti-aircraft, anti-surface ship and anti-submarine warfare.
One possible candidate is China's Type 054A "Jiangkai II" frigates, featuring 4,000-ton displacement, 30-knot speed, 8,000- nautical mile maneuverable range. The Chinese ships cost about 255 million U.S. dollars each.
The Thai navy now has four secondhand Type 053T "Jianghu" frigates, built in China, which have 2,400-ton displacement, 32- knot speed and 4,000-nautical mile range.The Thai navy is also considering a German-made, Bremen-class F122 frigate with a 3,700- ton displacement, 30-knot speed and 4,000-nautical mile range.
The German navy has planned to decommission and replace the F122 frigates with more sophisticated F125 Baden-Wurttemberg-class frigates in 2016.
As to the weapon systems to be fitted in the chosen frigates, the Thai navy is said to be interested in Chinese-made C-802A surface-to-surface missiles as well as US-made Harpoon surface-to- surface missiles and US-made Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles. Thailand currently deploys guided missiles acquired from China and the U.S. on its frigates and corvettes.