BEIJING – Thailand has signed a deal with China to buy a Type 071E landing platform dock (LPD) warship for the Thai navy. The new LPD worth 6.5 billion baht will help ease the burden on the HTMS Angthong.
The commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy, Luechai Ruddit, signed the agreement in Beijing on Monday.
Construction of the Chinese-built vessel will take three years, and once in service, the new LPD will allow the navy to undertake a wider scope of operations.
The HTMS Angthong is currently the navy’s only existing amphibious landing platform dock.
071E landing platform dock (LPD) is a New Type Amphibious Vessel
The Type 071 landing platform dock LPD is a 20,000 ton-class warship that can carry combat personnel and equipment. Including air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC), amphibious assault vehicles, tanks and helicopters.
It is part of the main battle equipment being used by China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy.
Thailand will use the warship to conduct naval transport missions.
It can also be used for civilian purposes, like disaster relief and humanitarian rescue missions. The LPD can carry relief goods and get victims out of disaster areas.
It will likely have no significant changes compared to the domestically commissioned landing platform dock LPD in China.
Thailand’s military operates other Chinese weapons like the VT4 tanks made by NORINCO.
Thailand could purchase even more Chinese weapons like LCAC, amphibious assault vehicles, and helicopters that could fit the Type 071E.
The Thai Navy presently has Yuan Class S26T submarines under construction in China.