Royal Thai Navy insists on strategic need of China-built submarines

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Adm Talerngsak said the Thai Navy contacted its Chinese contractor to ensure strict adherence to the agreement and said issues regarding the MTU 396 engine are the sole responsibility of the contractor, adding that the Navy will take all necessary measures to safeguard the nation’s interests.

The Royal Thai Navy has called its submarine purchase from China a strategic necessity, adding that the engine model must strictly adhere to contractual obligations.

The Navy recently addressed issues concerning its submarine purchase deal with China, after a report indicated that the German-made MTU 396 engine could not be delivered to the Chinese manufacturer.

Navy Chief of Staff Adm Talerngsak Sirisawat said the Thai Navy contacted its Chinese contractor to ensure strict adherence to the agreement. He also said issues regarding the MTU 396 engine are the sole responsibility of the contractor, adding that the Navy will take all necessary measures to safeguard the nation’s interests.



Adm Talerngsak nevertheless assured that the Navy was not considering steps to terminate the contract, as having a submarine fleet will ultimately meet the Kingdom’s strategic needs.

Delivery of China-built submarines had earlier been postponed from September 2023 to May 2024. It is currently unclear whether the engine issue will delay the delivery even further. (NNT)