The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has said it is still considering the option of using a Chinese-made engine instead of a German-made one for its submarine purchase from China.
RTN Spokesman Adm Pokkrong Monthatphalin stated that the Navy has neither rejected nor accepted the offer from China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC) to replace the German-made engine for the S26T Yuan-class submarine with the Chinese-made CHD620 engine. The offer was made during negotiations between RTN Chief of Staff Adm Chonlathit Nawanukhro, CSOC, and China’s naval attaché this week.
According to the spokesperson, the Navy informed CSOC that it would consider the offer under the condition that the CHD620 engine meets the standards of the Chinese navy. The RTN will also send a team to observe the engine test for the submarine in China at the beginning of 2023 before considering the option. Meanwhile, the CHD620’s certification process to meet the requirements of the Chinese navy is expected to be finished by June next year.
The spokesperson stated that once these processes are finished, the RTN will compile information for submission to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha for further consideration. (NNT)