Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang has expressed optimism that the incoming government could reach a new agreement with Germany and China regarding the engine for Thailand’s new submarine currently under assembly in China.
Originally, the Royal Thai Navy had required a German-made engine for the S26T Yuan-class submarine, which was scheduled for delivery this month but has been postponed to next April due to pandemic-related delays.
China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co (CSOC), responsible for building the submarine under a Government-to-Government (G2G) agreement, had offered a CHD620 engine after Germany declined to sell its MTU 396 diesel engine to China, classifying it as a military-defense item.
Sutin, speaking at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, expressed hope that the issue could be resolved and suggested that Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin likely had a solution in mind.
Regarding Thailand’s response to the ongoing conflict in neighboring Myanmar, Sutin indicated plans to form a team to address the issue based on advice from officials at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. A formal decision on how to handle the Myanmar crisis will be made after careful consideration.
Sutin affirmed his intention to boost Thailand’s defense industry by establishing a formal committee for military collaboration with scientists and technologists. This initiative aims to further develop the country’s defense capabilities.