The Royal Thai Navy will buy its first submarine from China in the coming fiscal year, Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan said yesterday.
Prawit, who is also deputy prime minister overseeing security affairs, said the Navy planned to buy three submarines at Bt12 billion each. “The budget is not too high as payments can be made over a period of about 10 years,” he said.
Prawit said China’s submarine technology was good and modern, playing down criticism of the move. He said the Navy had studied all details. “It first presented its plan in 2008 or 2009.”
Asked why the Navy would want submarines since it had abolished the submarine division, Prawit said the country needed them to protect its massive marine resources in the Andaman Sea.
“Neighbouring countries all have submarines. Myanmar has 10,” he said.