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Royal Thai Navy Anoints HTMS Chang LPD

Our Bureau - : May 20, 2024 - : 8:06 pm

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) held an anointing ceremony for its newest Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ship, HTMS Chang (792), on Saturday, 18 May, at Sattahip Naval Base in Chonburi province. The ceremony was officiated by Thailand’s reigning monarch, King Maha Vajiralongkorn.

Named after an island in Thailand’s Trat province, HTMS Chang (792) is the largest LPD in Southeast Asia. The vessel was constructed by the China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSSC) at Shanghai’s Hudong Zhonghua shipyard under a 2019 contract valued at USD 200.7 million, and was delivered in April 2023.

The HTMS Chang, also known as the Type 071ET, is an export version of China’s Type 071 (NATO: Yuzhao-class) LPD, with eight ships of this class currently serving in China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) since 2007. Delivered to Thailand under the FFBNW (Fit For But Not With) status, the ship’s advanced electronics, sensors, and weapons will be installed separately by the RTN.

Since taking delivery of the ship in 2023, the service has conducted a series of qualification tests and crew training. Following the anointing ceremony, the navy will begin outfitting the ship with various electronics and weapon systems. The budget allocated for this installation is THB 920 million (approximately USD 25.5 million), involving companies such as Leonardo, Thales, Navantia, Aselsan, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Hartech Technologies, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

As the largest LPD in the Southeast Asia region, HTMS Chang (792) has a displacement of around 25,000 tonnes. The ship measures 210 metres in length, 28 metres in width, and has a draft of 7 metres. It is crewed by 196 personnel and can embark 650 fully equipped troops. The well deck can accommodate up to four 150-ton class hovercraft (Landing Craft Air Cushion / LCAC), and it has a large hangar capable of housing and maintaining four medium-sized helicopters, along with two landing pads at the aft section.

Currently, the ship is temporarily armed with two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns and two Oerlikon 20 mm cannons. Upon completion of the fitting-out process, it is expected to be equipped with a 76 mm main cannon, two 30 mm or 40 mm cannons, and up to four decoy launchers.

Photo: AAG


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