04:01 GMT +322 April 2019
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    File photo, a Chinese Navy submarine attends an international fleet review to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army Navy on April 23, 2009 off Qingdao in Shandong Province

    Thailand to Upgrade Fleet, Chooses Chinese to Provide Three Submarines

    © AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite
    Asia & Pacific
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    Thailand reportedly plans to buy three Chinese-made submarines for the Royal Thai Navy at a cost of 355 million dollars each.

    Three Chinese-made submarines worth 355 million dollars each may be purchased by Thailand for its Royal Navy, the newspaper Bangkok Post reported on Friday, citing a source in the country's procurement committee.

    The decision was made on Thursday, when the majority of the 17-strong committee said "yes" to the Chinese submarines, saying that it was the "best value for money". Other committee members remained split between offers from South Korea and Germany.

    According to the source, the committee voted to buy the Chinese submarines because they are "equipped with superior weaponry and technology and are also able to stay underwater longer."

    In July 2014, the Royal Thai Navy inaugurated a state-of-the-art submarine squadron headquarters and training center for this squadron, even though the navy has had no submarines in its fleet since 1951.

    The squadron's facilities, which include a German submarine simulator, were established at an existing naval base in Sattahip, east of Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand.

    The submarine project has been repeatedly supported by Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who pointed to the country's ever-increasing territorial challenges and maritime missions.

    Earlier, the Thai government allocated almost 6 million dollars for the navy dealing with the feasibility of purchasing submarines from Germany, South Korea or China.


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    squadron, project, decision, submarines, technology, Royal Thai Navy, China, Thailand
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