Thailand prepares $1 billion for three Chinese submarines

Thailand’s Ministry of Defense has confirmed that Thailand is set to buy three submarines from China for a price of $1 billion.

According to IHS Janes, the submarines to be bought are S26T (Thailand) diesel-electric submarines, a modified export version of the Yuan-class (Type 041).

Responding to media reports about the deal, defense minister Prawit Wonsuwon said that acquisition of new submarine had been planned eight years ago. Thailand also considered German and South Korean submarine solutions.

Prawit said the acquisition would be paid for over a ten year period starting with fiscal 2017. He further noted that Thailand would need the submarines for its marine resources in the Andaman Sea and in order to keep up with the navies of neighboring countries.