By Thai Newsroom Reporters
THE THAI NAVY has planned to buy a second Bhumibol Adulyadej-class frigate from South Korea within fiscal 2023, said a navy source today (Jan. 21).
The navy has been deploying HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej, the first frigate of the class by the same name, since 2019 and planned to buy the second one for about 16 billion baht, said the navy source who only spoke on condition that he not be identified.
A purchase order for the Bhumibol Adulyadej-class frigate, originally known as a Gwanggaeto-class frigate and built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co, is expected within fiscal 2023, the source said.
The South Korean-built frigate has a 3,700-ton displacement, is manned by 141 sailors and armed with a 76mm gun, RIM-162 Sea Sparrow medium-range, surface-to-air missiles, Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles and Mk 32 ASW torpedoes.
Earlier this month, navy chief Adm Somprasong Nilsamai said no weapon system projects have been laid out for procurement by the navy in fiscal 2023 due to budget constraints whereas the planned procurement of a second and third Yuan-class S26T submarine from China, a copycat of a Russian-built, Kilo-class sub, has already been suspended for similar reasons.
The two Chinese subs would otherwise be procured for a combined price of 22.5 billion baht, following the first one which was bought for about 13.5 billion baht and scheduled for delivery within next year.
Top: The Royal Thai Navy frigate HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej sails in formation during a Division Tactics (DIVTACS) exercise with ships from the US and Royal Thai navies as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand 2019. Image: US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Toni Burton
Home Page: Royal Thai Navy frigate HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej. Photo:Thaiseafarer.com