Monday, 22 April 2013

South Korea to build Thai navy frigate

The Royal Thai Navy has chosen a South Korean naval ship manufacturer to build a new frigate that will cost about 13 billion baht.

An RTN selection committee announced on Friday it had chosen Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering to manufacture the frigate, a navy source said.

The company was one of the last two South Korean firms to enter the final round of the bid organised by the RTN panel.

The other three foreign firms ousted from the previous rounds were from Spain, Italy and China.
RTN chief of staff Chakchai Phucharoenyot, who chaired the panel, said Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering was selected because it had proposed specifications for the frigate that were in line with the navy's demands.

The navy also asked the company to manufacture a Combat Management System (CMS) which can be allied to the systems installed in the frigates HTMS Naresuan and HTMS Taksin, he said.

The frigate, which will be the first South Korean-manufactured navy ship in Thailand, is expected to be commissioned in two years' time, Adm Chakchai said.

The new frigate will have a displacement of between 3,000 and 4,000 tonnes.

The cabinet earlier approved the RTN's procurement of two frigates with a budget of 30 billion baht. The frigates will be considered for manufacturing one by one.

According to the navy source, the RTN preferred European frigates but they were too expensive.
Meanwhile, a Defence Ministry source revealed that Defence Minister Sukumpol Suwanatat will lead military top brass on a visit to Russia between Tuesday and next Monday to bolster military ties.

Thai delegates will inspect the armaments industry in Russia, the source said.

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