Thai navy to build own offshore patrol boats

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Bangkok, March 10 (IANS) The Thai navy plans to build three Offshore patrol vessels (OPV) to celebrate the monarch’s 90th birthday in the next few years.

Deputy navy chief-of-staff Jumpol Lumpikanond confirmed on Thursday that the three OPVs will be built at the navy’s Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard in Bangkok with a combined budget of some $138 million and completion scheduled for 2018, Xinhua news agency reported.

Construction of the 1,960-tonne OPVs will primarily follow the type of HTMS Krabi, the lone Thai-built OPV which has been deployed since 2013, Jumpol said.

The new offshore patrol boats will be commissioned in 2018 as part of the celebrations for King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 90th birthday anniversary, he said.

HTMS Krabi, built at the Thai navy’s dockyard under supervision of Britain’s BAE Systems, has a 76-mm gun, a 30-mm gun, Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles and a helipad for a Super Lynx helicopter.

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