(From the Nation)
The Royal Thai Navy has resolved to buy three submarines from China in a government-to-government contract worth Bt36 billion, Navy Commander-in-Chief Adm Kraisorn Chansuwanit said Thursday.
He said he did not know when Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan would submit the proposed procurement to the Cabinet for deliberation.
The Bangkok Post reported on June 26 that the navy had picked Chinese submarines costing 12 billion baht, quoting a source on a government committee. The majority of the 17-strong committee reportedly voted to buy the Chinese vessels, saying it was the “best value for money.” The rest were said to be split between submarines from Germany and South Korea. The navy also received offers from Russia, Sweden and France.
The source said China beat other rivals by offering subs equipped with superior weaponry and technology. Its subs are also able to stay underwater longer.