Sep 9, 2011

Future of the Thai Navy

Always very ambitious...

Of the entire Thai land aera, only 0,4% were of water (Rivers/Lakes). Coastlines : 3219 Km.

Personnal Strenght 69 000+
(44 000 regular (included Naval Aviation, Marines, Coastal Defence) and 25 000+ conscript).

1 Light Carrier
1 Chakri Naruebet
(Chakri Naruebet). 11 000+ tons, 182+ meters (design derived from Spanish Principe de Asturias CVL). Commissioned by 1997, with probably +/- 30 year of service expected, to be retired around late 2020’s.

9 Frigates
2 Phutthayotfa
(Phutthayotfa Chulalok, Phutthaloetla Naphalai). 4000 tons, 134 meters (ex US 1960’s Knox FFG). Transferred by 1994/1996.

2 Naresuan
(Naresuan, Taksin). 2900 tons, 120 meters. Commissioned by 1995.

4 Chao Phraya
(Chao Phraya, Bangpakong, Kraburi, Saiburi). 1600/1900 tons, 103+ meters (modified Chinese Type 053 frigates design). Commissioned by 1991/1992.

1 Makut Rajakumarn (now used as a training ship)
(Makut Rajakumarn). 1600/1900 tons, 97+ meters. Commissioned by 1973.

Few SSK's expected by late 2010's.

4 Corvettes
2 Ratanakosin
(Ratanakosin, Sukhothai). 950+ tons, 77 meters (US 1970’s corvette design). Commissioned by 1986/1987.

2 Tapi
(Tapi, Khirirat). 880/1100 tons, 84 meters (US 1970’s corvette design).

9 Fast Attack Missiles Crafts
3 Rajcharit
(Rajcharit, Vitiyakom, U domdej). 250+ tons, 49+ meters. Commissioned by 1979/1980.

3 Prabbrorapak
(Prabbrorapak, Hanhak Sudtru, Soo Pirin). (German TNC 45 FAC design). Commissioned by 1976/1977.

3 Chonburi
(Chonburi, Songgkla, Phuket). 400/450 tons, 57+ meters (Italian MV 400 TH FAC design). Commissioned by 1981/1983.

Large Amphibious Ships
(Angthong). 7600 tons (derived from the Singaporian Endurance LPD). To be delivered by 2012.

1 Fleet Tanker
1 Similan
(Similan). 22 000 tons, 171 meters (ex Russian/Chinese AOR tanker). Transferred by 1996.

Mid Shore Patrol Vessels
3 Khamrosin
(Kamronsin, Thaychanon, Longlom). 350/630 tons, 57 meters. Commissioned by 1991.

6 Sattahip
(Sattahip, Klongyai, Takbai, Kangtang, Thepa, Theai Mueang). 280+ tons, 50 meters. Commissioned by 1983/1986.

Others Patrol Boats (uncertain data ?)
2 Pattani (OPV)
(Pattani, Narathiwat). 1440/1635 tons, 95+ meters. Commissioned by 2007/2008.

3 Hua Hin
(Hua Hin, Klang, Sriracha).

up to 6 Tor 991(patrol boat)
(T-991/996). 180+ tons. T-991/993 delivered by 2007, T-994/996 under construction.

+/- 3 Off Shore Patrol Boats (uncertain data ?)
1 Srinakrin

+/- 4 Mid Shore Patrol Boats
(uncertain data ?)
2 Chasanyabadee

In Shore Patrol Boats & others small crafts
(uncertain data ?)
6 Ital Thai Marine
Burespadoog kit
3 Cutlass
Severals dozens of additional small crafts ?

Some 155mm guns.
Some 37 & 40mm AA guns.
Some Manpads.

THAI MARINE CORPS (23 000 troops)
Armored Transport Vehicles (Wheeled): 24 LAV-150 Commando; Maybe up to 12 BTR-3
Amphibious Armored Vehicles: 33 LVTP-7
Artillery (Towed): 36 105mm; 12 155mm (GC-45)
Anti-Tanks Missiles (Towed): 24 HMMW Tow
Anti-Tanks Missiles (Manpats): M47 Dragon; Tow

- 9 AV-8S Matador (dubious state...)
- 7 Do 228 Dornier (maritime patrol)
- 6 F-27 200/400 Fokker (maritime patrol)
- P-3T Orion (maritime patrol)
- 1 CL-215 Canadair (SAR/Firefighting)
- 5 N 24A Gaf Normad (transport)
- 12 to 14 T-337 Cessna (training, light attack)
- Up to 2 ERJ-135LR Embraer (transport)

- 8 Bell 212 (transport)
- 7 Bell 214 (transport)
- 6 SH-60B Seahawk (ASW)
- 6 S-76B Sikorski (SAR)
- Up to 6 MH-60S Knighthawk (Transport/SAR)
- Up to 4 Super Lynx 300 (anti ship)

As usual, It may be that in my "fleet review", I forgot programs ? (or made few mistakes ?, especially for the auxiliary and smaller ships), then SAID IT ! Feel free to comment and give your opinion


  1. Last I heard at most one "Matador"(Harrier) was still operational--any info on this?

  2. Difficult to know the real state of the Thai AV-8 "park" ???
    May be any AV-8 ops ?

  3. I think for the Royal Thai Navy, I believe they should turn their light carrier into a helicopter carrier and use it to support the Royal Thai Marines for Amphibious helicopter assault operations.

    As for the SSK issues, I think if they want one, they should look at a coastal SSK and something that can support their Royal Thai Navy Seals.

  4. Mid-Life Upgrading of Naresuan Class FFG: Contract announced 3 june 2011 of upgrading with Saab's 9LV MK4 combat management system, Sea Giraffe AMB, CEROS 200 fire control radar, EOS 500 electro-optics system and data link systems. Plan for further upgrade with 8 x Mk41 VLS for RIM-162 ESSM and new CIWS might have been delayed for a year or two due to budget cuts.

    Mid-life upgrade of Chao Praya class FFG: HTMS Kraburi and HTMS Saiburi are being upgraded with Type 360 Radar (SR-60A) with improved IFF, New CMS, NG12-1 Twin-barrel 100mm Naval Gun, TR47C Tracking Radar, and 8 x C802A missiles (instead of the existing C801 missiles)

    The two Pattani class vessels are OPVs built in China to Thai design and specification, but entirely equipped with European electronics and weapon systems. They have a length of 95.5 metres and displaces 1440/1635 tons. HTMS Pattani was delivered in 2007.

    The T.991 class patrol boats are designed and built in Thailand, and they were launched in 2007. They have a full load displacement of 185 tons. Project to build T.994 - T.996 is underway.

    New LPD HTMS Angthong (791) was launched on the 21 March 2011, and is to be delivered in 2012. Designed and built by ST Marine of Singapore, and believed to be based on the Endurance-class LPD. This vessel has a displacement around 7600 tons. RTN would like to use this vessel with AAV and MH-60S in marine mission. LPD 791 can transport 19 AAVs or 15 Trucks/Trailers , 2 LCVP and 2-4 SH-60B/MH-60S or 1 CH-47:

    There is also the Chinese built Nancang class AOR tanker HTMS Similan (871) with a displacement of 22,000 tons. She has a length of 171.45 meters, and was formally accepted to Thai naval service on September 12, 1996. HTMS Similan was originally laid down for the Soviet Navy as a Komandarn Fedko class merchant tanker, but building work was halted due to insufficient funds, and was then purchased by the PLAN from the Russian Navy unfinished in 1993.

  5. As usual, thanks P.N for your help ;)

  6. On the rare occasions on which the Thai carrier puts to the sea, it operates solely as a helo platform. The Harrier Matador AC must all be considered inoperational (ie. junk), since the necessary MLO never happened. So even the one AC, that reportedly was flying before 2003, must now be assumed permanently grounded (the same status by the way must be assumed for pilots, who by now could not have achieved anything near a credible amount of flight hours to safely operate any such aircraft).

    I think its fair to say, that the new LPD will be the major rotary platform for the foreseeable future, with no replacement for the CN, which has never been more than a prestige purchase, a royal yacht of sorts to bolster egos, with no operational value whatsoever, that could not be achieved with different cheaper vessels.

    Overall its hard to see, in my opinion, how the financial situation and the mode of behaviour displayed by those responsible could improve the situation of the Thai military in the foreseeable future.