A well-informed RTN source said that Commander-in-Chief Admiral Luechai Rooddit ordered Daewoo to delay the construction of the second frigate, a vessel estimated to cost about 15 billion baht, because the RTN think that the Chinese built landing ship, costing about 6.1 billion baht, should be given priority because it will be deployed as a support ship for the RTN’s first submarine, also being built in China, and be used in disaster relief operations.
The first frigate, originally named HTMS Tachin, was renamed HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej in honor of the late King by HM the King, and was delivered last December.
The RTN has asked for funding from the 2020 fiscal budget year for a second submarine, which is, again, to be built in China.
Like the first Chinese submarine, the second one will be funded over seven years from the defense budget at an average of two billion baht annually. The RTN plans to procure a total of three submarines from China at a total cost of about 36 billion baht, which will be a draw on budget for 11 years.
The first submarine is tentatively scheduled to be completed in the next four years.