The Thai Navy will rework funding pattern for the purchase of three Chinese submarines and resubmit the proposal to the cabinet for approval.
The purchase proposal was on the cabinet agenda last week but withdrawn amid a report the Defence Ministry wanted the navy to spread payments for the submarines over 10 years rather than seven, Thai media reported.
Thai Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon on Tuesday denied reports that the navy’s submarine procurement project was being suspended or stalled.
Gen Prawit said he had asked the navy, which plans to buy three Chinese submarines valued at 36 billion baht, to rework its funding plan. The proposal would be submitted to the cabinet for consideration “when the time is right”.
There were reports last week that Thailand might prefer frigates in place of submarines. Newly appointed Royal Thai Navy Chief, Admiral Na Areenij had said that the navy would propose an ‘alternative’ if the submarine plan was stalled or cancelled. Local media interpreted this to mean that that the navy would propose the purchase of frigates. (Defense World)
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