Thai navy’s frigate procurement plan gets house committee’s nod
Thai navy’s frigate procurement plan gets house committee’s nodLegacy

The Royal Thai Navy‘s (RTN) plans for procuring a new frigate have received endorsement from the House of Representatives committee on the armed forces. This move is expected to pave the way for more job opportunities for local labour.

The RTN’s frigate procurement strategy recently encountered a setback when its budget request of 17 billion baht (US$480 million) for the 2024 fiscal year was turned down by a House subcommittee scrutinizing the budget.

Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, an MP from the Move Forward Party (MFP) and the committee chair, communicated the committee’s approval of the navy’s proposal during a seminar on military’s role in local governance. He highlighted that this frigate will be the first to be assembled in Thailand, a move predicted to generate a minimum of a billion baht in income for local workers.

“The government paid 15 billion baht (US$424) for the HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej frigate a decade ago. The new frigate will be more expensive if it is not assembled in Thailand,” Wiroj informed.

He further explained why the committee supported the frigate procurement plan but dismissed the navy’s plan to purchase a new submarine. Wiroj deemed a new frigate as a sensible purchase, while considering a new submarine as unnecessary.

“If the submarine procurement plan went ahead, every single baht we spent on the project would go towards the Chinese shipyard. It won’t create new jobs locally and enhance the skills of our workers,” he elaborated.

Wiroj acknowledged the common practice of armed forces branches proposing budgets for necessary procurement. However, he pointed out the past’s lack of transparency in these plans, which resulted in a loss of public faith in the process.

The House committee’s role is crucial in aligning the armed forces and the public, building trust between the parties by conducting a fair and transparent investigation into such plans, Wiroj stated.

In response to an enquiry about the Dhupatemiya Golf Course in Pathum Thani’s Lam Luk Ka district, Wiroj suggested that the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) could consider transferring the area for public use, reported Bangkok Post.

Police Lieutenant General Kamronwit Toopkrajang, chairman of the Pathum Thani PAO, confirmed the province’s readiness to develop the area for locals.

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Author: Mitch Connor