Naresuan Class guided-missile frigates were built by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, Shanghai, for the Royal Thai Navy. Naresuan is a modified variation of the Chinese-built Type 053 frigate.
The keel for the lead ship in class, Naresuan (421), was laid down in July 1991. The ship was launched in December 1993 and commissioned in January 1995. Taksin (422) was laid in May 1991, launched in September 1994 and commissioned in to the Royal Thai Navy in October 1995.
Naresuan Class vessel specifications and Saab command and control system
Naresuan Class was jointly designed by the Royal Thai Navy and China State Shipbuilding Corporation. The ships are considered to be more modern than the Type 053 class frigates.
The frigate has an overall length of 120m, beam of 13m and a draft of 3.8m. The full load displacement of the ship is 2,900t. Each ship can complement a crew of 150.
In June 2011, Saab was awarded two contracts by the Royal Thai Navy for the upgrade of combat management and fire control systems on two Naresuan Class frigates. The total value of the contracts is SEK454m ($72.8m).
Under the contract, Saab will supply a 9LV Mk4 combat management system (CMS), CEROS 200 fire control system and data-link equipment. Deliveries are expected to be completed by 2014.
The 9LV Mk4 CMS consists of multi function console (MFC) providing input and display facilities to control the system and integrated sensors and weapons. The CMS is integrated with smart sensor system EOS 500, navigation radar, surveillance radar, small or medium calibre gun, data link processor (DLP), AIS-transponder, GPS and wind sensor. The system will perform command and control, identification and tracking, as well as weapons engagement.
The CEROS 200 radar and optronic tracking system can be interfaced with the 9LV Mk4 CMS Gun Fire Control and SAM modules to deliver self-defence capabilities against advanced sea-skimming missiles or asymmetric surface threats. The shipboard data-link equipment from Saab will allow communication between the frigates and Gripen and Saab 340 aircraft of the Royal Thai Air Force.
Weapon systems on the Chinese-built Thai Navy frigates
Naresuan Class is armed with eight RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles launched from two quad launchers. The Mk 41 vertical launch system fitted on the ship can launch Sea Sparrow and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs).
ESSM is a medium range surface-to-air missile with a range of more than 27km. It can counter supersonic manoeuvring anti-ship missiles, while travelling at a speed of Mach 4.
The main gun fitted on the bow deck is an Mk-45 Mod 2 127mm naval artillery gun. The gun can fire at a rate of 16 to 20 rounds a minute for a maximum range of 24km.
Two Type 76 twin 37mm naval guns onboard defend the ship from anti-aircraft and anti-surface threats.
Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability is provided by the Mark 32 anti-submarine torpedo launching system. Two 324mm Mk-32 Mod.5 torpedo tubes can launch Mk 46 or Mk 50 torpedoes against submarines.
Sensors, radars and aircraft carrying capabilities of the guided-missile frigates
Naresuan Class is equipped with Saab Sea Giraffe AMD 3D surveillance radar, Thales LW-08 long range air search radar, Thales STIR fire control radar and DE-1160 hull mounted sonar.
The frigate has an aft helicopter deck to allow the operations of a single helicopter, such as a Bell212 ASW or Super Lynx helicopter. There is also a hangar.
Naresuan Class propulsion and speed
Naresuan Class is powered by combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion system. It includes two General Electric LM2500 gas turbine and two MTU 20V1163 TB83 diesel engines, driving two controllable pitch propellers through twin shafts. The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 32kt and a range of 4,000nmi at 18kt speed.
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