Navy Commander-in-Chief Adm. Surasak Runroengrom and Royal Thai Fleet Commander Adm. Kanat Tongpool set HTMS Krabi on its way from the Sattahip Naval Base Aug. 26.
Surasak said construction of the 2.9 billion baht ship was part of the navy’s battle-readiness development to protect the country, prevent incursions into territorial waters and assist victims of disasters.
The Krabi, a modified British River-class vessel, was at Sattahip’s Mahidol Adulyadej Royal Navy Dock from 2009-2011 and was launched by HRH Princess Sirindhorn in December of that year. The time since has been spent outfitting the ship at Bangkok Dock Co. with assistance from BAE Systems Service Ships.
Measuring 90.5 meters long, the Krabi is 13.5 meters wide, carries a draft of 3.8 meters and weighs 1,969 tons. Top speed is 23 knots. The ship carries an Oto Melara 76mm main gun and two MSI 30mm secondary guns for primary defense, as well as machine guns. It also is equipped with a Thales Variant surveillance radar, a Thales Lirod Mk2 fire control radar and the Thales Tacticos combat management system. It carries a complement of 89 sailors and can accommodate the landing of a Superlink helicopter.
The Krabi is expected to patrol Thailand’s economic-exclusion zone, the 200 nautical miles in which Thailand has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production, fisheries and natural resources.
The pride of the Royal Thai Navy, the HTMS Krabi set out from the Sattahip Naval Base Aug. 26.