Thailand may procure three submarines from China for $1bn
The Royal Thai Navy has reportedly shortlisted Chinese diesel electric attack submarines, after the Thai Naval procurement committee voted in favour of China's offer.
For this THB12bn ($1.06bn) project, the country also received offers from European countries, such as Russia, Sweden, and France.
China's Type 039B diesel-electric submarine reportedly features superior weapons and technology, as well as the capability to stay underwater longer than vessels offered by competitors.
The Thai Navy is planning to purchase these new capabilities as part of an increased 2016 defence budget.
With support from Thailand Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, this new move will help the country to combat growing territorial threats and conduct a variety of other maritime missions.
The country has already invested THB200m ($6.43m) for a feasibility study on the proposed procurement submarines.
The navy had planned to procure six German-made submarines at a cost of THB7.7bn ($247.81m) in 2011. But the plan was not approved by the government at the time.
However, the country revived its plans last year in a bid to achive the capability after nearly sixty years. Thailand's last Japanese-built Matchanu-class submarine was retired from service in 1951.
This year, China received an order from the Pakistan Navy to provide eight submarines, which will be equipped with air independent propulsion, anti-ship missiles, Yu-4 (SAET-50) passive homing and Yu-3 (SET-65E) active / passive homing torpedoes.