Ryal Thai Navy appeal for frigate procurement funds rejected

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

A Thai government source revealed yesterday that the special House committee responsible for scrutinising the 2024 budget rejected a Royal Thai Navy (RTN) appeal against its decision to deny its request for budgetary funds for the procurement of a new frigate.

The House committee dismissed the RTN’s appeal with a vote of 37 against and 16 in favour, along with six abstentions. The RTN, however, intends to submit another request in the upcoming fiscal year.

This development follows a day after Admiral Adoong Pan-iam, the commander of RTN, appealed against the subcommittee’s rejection. In a letter, he argued that a new ship was pivotal to strengthening the nation’s maritime defences.

Adm Adoong highlighted in his letter the crucial need for a new frigate to fulfil the navy’s core mission of maintaining the country’s territorial sovereignty. This need is particularly urgent given the RTN’s plans to retire its current frigates over the next few years.

A navy source disclosed that HTMS Chao Phraya and HTMS Bang Pakong will be decommissioned in 2026, followed by HTMS Naresuan in 2034 and HTMS Taksin in 2035.

The navy had previously requested 17 billion baht from the 2024 budget to finance its frigate procurement plan, which it planned to implement over five years. Around 1.7 billion baht was slated for expenditure in the first year, reported Bangkok Post.

Upon completion, the new frigate would be stationed along the Andaman Coast, according to the source.

In related news, the RTN faced a second warning from a US military group over a delay in HTMS Sukhothai salvage operations. Concerns raised over potential breach of agreements, affecting foreign military sales.

Admiral Phan-iam cites ongoing efforts to resolve issues, fearing US involvement could disrupt the planned April salvage schedule. Additionally, deputy commander-in-chief meets with US Indo-Pacific Command to bolster military ties and enhance cooperation for joint military exercises.

Politics NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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