The Royal Thai Navy’s Submarine Squadron was officially launched at Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri province yesterday. Navy chief ADM Narong Pipattanasai presided over the ceremony.
The navy has also sent 18 navy officers to receive training in submarine technology in Germany and another 10 officers to South Korea to attend a training course on international diesel submarines.
The squadron underscores the Royal Thai Navy’s push to get submarines added to its fleet. The navy has pressed governments for years to buy submarines to help navy ships protect the Gulf of Thailand.
In 2010, then navy commander Kamthorn Phumhiran approved a plan to set up the squadron, with expectations of having second-hand submarines from Germany. But it never passed the planning stage.
In 2012, then navy chief Surasak Rounroengrom approved guidelines for equipping navy personnel with training on submarines, which led to navy personnel studying submarines with the help of countries who have had them for a long time.
"Although the navy has not had submarines for 62 years, submarines are still important as a strategic and irreplaceable tool to make up for the geographical limitations of Thailand,’’ the navy said in an article to promote the underwater craft. (Bangkok Post)