Thai Navy still in tough talks with Chinese firm over submarine engines
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has denied speculation its deal with a Chinese submarine maker would be cancelled or revised, as the company is unable to acquire the German-made diesel engines stipulated in the purchase contract.
Navy commander-in-chief Admiral Somprasong Nilsamai said on Thursday that negotiations with China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) were still underway.
The Thai Navy has been firm in its demand for German-made MTU 396 engines to be installed in the 13.5-billion-baht S26T Yuan-class submarine it is buying from China, he said.
The RTN last week gave CSOC another 60 days to honour the agreement’s terms over the engines.
When asked if the Navy would cancel its agreement if the Chinese company could not obtain the stated engines, Somprasong said on Thursday: “There are steps [to be taken] and we still have time.”
When asked if the CSOC would refund the RTN's advance, “We are not there yet. The talks are still ongoing,” said the commander-in-chief.
The German government has prohibited the export of the engines to China because of their use for military purposes, as Germany is bound by a European Union arms embargo imposed on China in 1989 after the Tiananmen Square massacre.