Thai navy plans to buy three Chinese subs

Updated: 2015-07-02 18:06


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BANGKOK - The Thai navy plans to buy three submarines from China under a government-to-government dealing, said Thai navy chief Adm Kraisorn Chansuvanit on Thursday.

The three Chinese subs which will be newly-built and incur a combined cost of $10.9 billion can be submerged under the sea for three weeks at a time, compared to barely a one-week time for German or Swedish subs, according to Adm Kraisorn.

A 17-person navy procurement committee had reached a unanimous decision to pick the Chinese subs which might be purchased on installment basis spanning seven to 10 years under the planned G-to-G dealing, the navy chief said.

The sailors sitting on the procurement committee had visited sub-manufacturing dockyards in several countries including South Korea, Germany, Sweden and China, he said.

It will take five to six years for the Chinese to build the three subs for the Thai navy whose crewmembers will spend a few years in China to get well-versed with the technology and weapon systems deployed aboard, he said.

The navy's plan to purchase the Chinese subs is yet to be submitted to Deputy Premier/Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan who may forward it to Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha's cabinet for approval.