26 January 2017
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) recently secured USD $383.4 million for the first of three S26T air-independent propulsion submarines (SSP) it intends to procure from the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), the Bangkok Post reports.
As per the Bangkok Post: The funding was allocated in the national budget for 2017, which was approved by Thailand’s parliament. Upon approval from the cabinet, Thailand will order the submarine under a government-to-government deal.
As the lead ship will absorb the required logistics, maintenance, training and weapon (munition?) costs, the unit costs of the remaining two S26Ts will be less than the first.
The total cost of the S26T submarine program will be USD $1.02 billion.
The Bangkok Post reports that the S26T “has a submerged displacement of 2,600 tons and is equipped with an air-independent propulsion [AIP] system.”
Thailand is seeking the S26Ts as part of its comprehensive naval modernization efforts, which also include the procurement of new surface warships, such as its recently launched 3,650-ton frigate.