The Royal Thai Navy has awarded a contract to Saab to modernise the combat systems onboard two Naresuan-class guided-missile frigates, HTMS Naresuan (FFG-421) and HTMS Taksin (FFG-422).
Under the $83.4m follow-on contract, the company will upgrade combat systems and also provide additional sights and communications equipment to complete the combat suite on the two frigates.
It follows a $72.8m contract awarded to Saab in 2011 to upgrade combat management and fire control systems on two Royal Thai Navy Naresuan-class frigates.
The upgrade also includes procurement of third-party systems, while Saab will be responsible for integration of all existing and new systems.
Saab’s Business Area Security and Defence Solutions head Gunilla Fransson said: "Saab is now on the navy’s three major vessels and with data links to the Royal Thai Air Force’s Gripen and Erieye, capabilities and resources can be used more efficiently."
China State Shipbuilding Corporation-built 2,900t Naresuan-class frigates are equipped with Saab Sea Giraffe AMD 3D surveillance radar, Thales LW-08 long range air search radar and STIR fire control radar, as well as DE-1160 hull-mounted sonar.
Capable of carrying a crew of 150, the 120m-long frigates have a beam of 13m and feature two 324mm Mk-32 Mod.5 torpedo tubes that can launch Mk 46 or Mk 50 torpedoes to destroy submarines.
The Naresuan-class vessels are powered by combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion system which include two General Electric LM2500 gas turbine and two MTU 20V1163 TB83 diesel engines to cruise at a maximum speed of 32k.
Armed with eight RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, frigates are also equipped with Mk 41 vertical launch system to launch Sea Sparrow and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs).
The contract is expected to be carried out between 2012 and 2015.
Image: HTMS Naresuan frigate in Victoria Harbour. Photo: courtesy of Kazec.