Royal Thai Navy picks Thales for minehunter modernization

French defense contractor Thales announced that it was awarded two contracts for the supply of above-water and underwater solutions for the Royal Thai Navy (RTN).

These contracts will see Thales modernize the Bang Rachan Class Minehunters and supply the combat, navigation and communication suite onboard the newly ordered Krabi Class Offshore Patrol Vessel.

The French company said that the minehunter modernization contract marked the company’s first success in the underwater systems and sonars market in Thailand.

Thales will be responsible for the revised vessel design, repairs and modernization, the procurement of equipment and the platform integration. The upgraded ship will be equipped with new solutions, including a machinery control system, navigation systems, upgraded communications capabilities, Sonar TSM 2022 MkIII with M-CUBE command and control (C2) and a multi-influence signature range to manage RTN ships’ signatures.

Once the upgrades are completed, the operational life of these ships will be extended by over 15 years, Thales said.

Additionally, Thales is set to provide the Tacticos combat management system and an integrated bridge and navigation suite for a second Krabi Class OPV that was launched by the RTN in 2015.

Thales was previously chosen to supply the combat, navigation and communication suite for the HTMS Krabi. The ship was commissioned in 2013 and has already completed more than 1,000 days at sea.

The sensors to be delivered are the Variant surveillance radar, Stir 1.2 EO Mk2 fire control radar and Vigile electronic support measures with SKWS chaff launcher. Furthermore, Thales will supply the tactical data links Link RTN and LINK-Y Mk2 and all internal and external communication systems.

The vessel will also be fitted with a 76 mm gun, 2x 30mm gun and the Harpoon SSM.

The ship is expected to be commissioned in the second half of 2018.