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Cabinet endorses Navy’s plan to purchase one Chinese submarine

The cabinet last week approved the Navy's plan to purchase one Yuan-class submarine from China estimated at 13.5 billion baht under government-to-government agreement.

Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Na Areenit will travel to China to ink the procurement deal on a date yet to be scheduled.

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said on Monday that the cabinet did not tell the media about its approval of the submarine procurement plan last week because no reporters asked about the issue.

He said Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan personally proposed the Navy's submarine plan to the cabinet last week after his return from an overseas trip.

The navy will bear the 13.5 billion baht price tag of the submarine from its budget for up to seven years.

Initially, the navy planned to purchase three submarines from China, but due to financial constraints, the navy decided to start with one submarine first, which is expected to be delivered in the next six years.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)