July 2, 2016
Thai Report of 3 Submarine buy - Not Yet Proven
The S26T that may have been ordered by Thailand may look like the S20 (or S-20) model displayed at an arms trade show in 2015. Note that it is being marketed by "CSOC" - which is the China Shipbuilding & Offshore international Co (CSOC) Ltd.
In an article that has yet to be proven the Bangkok Post, reports that on July 1, 2016 Thai Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon “confirmed” the Thai Navy will buy three S26T (export derivative of Yuan class) submarines from China at 12 billion baht (US$342 million) each.
What makes my question the credibility is:
1. there have been to numerous rumours and false starts on Thai submarine “done deals” for decades. So every word needs to be combed over.
2. For example the July 1, 2016 Bangkok Post report also said: “all neighbouring countries had submarines including Myanmar, which had 10 brand-new ones”.
This is incorrect. Neighbouring Myanmar and Cambodia have no subs. Myanmar has no proven orders for submarines and 10 would be excessive for such a small, poor, country. Near neighbours Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have no subs.
3. The Defence Minister merely “confirmed”. He did not announce such a major purchase.
4. Best to wait until the wording has changed to a more convincing the “Thai Cabinet has decided” and “the Prime Minister has announced”.
Posted by Peter Coates