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Thai Navy Likely Proceeds With S26T Submarine

Yulian Ardiansyah - : May 16, 2024 - : 6:34 pm

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is likely to accept the continuation of the S26T submarine project with Chinese CHD 620 engine – a source in the service said today.

The outcome is a result of a meeting between a delegation of Chinese officials with the RTN earlier this week. The meeting was held to find the solution for the problematic project due to Germany’s refusal to sell its MTU 396 diesel engine to China.

The engine was originally offered by the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co. Ltd (CSOC), a trading subsidiary of the state-owned China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), to RTN to power the S26T submarine, also known as the Yuan-class submarine in the West.

Facing this refusal, the CSOC then tried to offer a replacement engine with the Chinese-made CHD 620. This offer was met with reluctance from the Southeast Asian country’s navy who saw the Chinese engine as untested and was not convinced that it will provide the submarine with equal performance as with Germany’s one.

The Ministry of Defence of Thailand is expected to table the proposed engine change at the upcoming cabinet meeting for approval. This change would entail an extension of the delivery timeline by an additional 1,217 days, resulting in the commencement of S6T submarine delivery to the RTN in 2027. Additionally, CSOC has offered a compensation package of THB 200 million to the Thai Navy.

In April 2017, the Thai government greenlit the acquisition of three S26T submarines valued at US$ 1.05 billion from CSOC. However, due to budget limitations, it authorized the purchase of just one submarine priced at US$ 403 million, deferring the acquisition of the remaining two. The delivery timeline for the first submarine was originally scheduled for 2024.


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