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Thailand Navy Builds Hi-Tech Naval Base – But has No Submarines

The navy has sent 18 officers for a 32-week submarine training course in Germany, and another 10 for a similar eight-week course in South Korea. The navy plans to send more officers to attend exercises and seminars abroad to boost their knowledge of submarines, Rear Adm Panu said.

The navy has sent 18 officers for a 32-week submarine training course in Germany, and another 10 for a similar eight-week course in South Korea. The navy plans to send more officers to attend exercises and seminars abroad to boost their knowledge of submarines, Rear Adm Panu said.

 

SATTAHIP – Thailand’s navy inaugurated a state-of-the-art headquarters and training center for its submarine squadron on Monday, even though it has no subs to command.

Rear Adm. Panu Punyavirocha,

Rear Adm. Panu Punyavirocha,

The squadron and its facilities, including a submarine simulator from Germany, were established at an existing naval base in Sattahip, east of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand.

The navy, which has had no submarines in its fleet since 1951, has been seeking for several years to acquire some, but has faced budgetary restraints. It says the new facilities are needed to be prepared for the future. Rear Adm. Panu Punyavirocha, head of the submarine squadron, told the Bangkok Post newspaper last October that the new facilities cost 540 million baht ($17.3 million).

Recent maritime territorial disputes have caused several Asian nations to consider acquiring or expanding submarine fleets.The military coup that ousted Thailand’s civilian government in May could help expedite the acquisition of some submarines, as the military will in practice administer the country until an election promised for October 2015 at the earliest. The military received a vast increase in its budget after its last coup in 2006, a move that drew some criticism from the press and public.

Submarines will be important for maritime security when the Dawei deep sea port opens in Myanmar, with shipping lanes around the western coast expected to be bustling, the source added.

Rear Adm Panu said the navy needs at least three submarines, ranging in size from 500- to 3,000-tonne displacement. He dismissed concerns the Gulf of Thailand may be too shallow for submarines to operate. He said several submarines from other countries had conducted drills in the Gulf. “Those foreign navies probably know more than we do about the underwater terrain in the Gulf of Thailand,” he said.

The navy has sent 18 officers for a 32-week submarine training course in Germany, and another 10 for a similar eight-week course in South Korea. The navy plans to send more officers to attend exercises and seminars abroad to boost their knowledge of submarines, Rear Adm Panu said.

The new submarine training school will produce personnel with the skills to operate a future submarine fleet, he added.

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Posted by on Jul 8 2014. Filed under Regional News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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