BANGKOK, Sep 12, 2019, Bangkok Post. The Royal Thai Navy has signed an agreement with China to procure a landing platform dock (LPD) worth 6.5 billion baht to help ease the burden on the HTMS Angthong. Navy commander Luechai Ruddit said 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, reported the Bangkok Post.
The HTMS Angthong is currently the navy’s only existing amphibious transport dock.
The ship, which was built in Singapore for 4.9 billion baht, has been used on numerous missions.
The signing ceremony for the second LPD was held in China’s Beijing and attended by Adm Chorchat Krathes, the navy’s special adviser and deputy commander-designate.
Adm Luechai said the second LPD will not only help relieve the burden of HTMS Angthong, but also accommodate operations of a Yuan Class S26T submarine which is under construction.
The cabinet approved the first purchase of a Yuan Class S26T submarine worth 13.5 billion baht from China in 2017, and the vessel is expected to be in service by 2023.
A source said the navy plans to set up 12 more agencies as part of a restructuring process, following the introduction of the 2019 law on maritime security protection.