Local news

Navy moves to upgrade 2 frigates after shelving new purchases

By Thai Newsroom Reporters

THE NAVY HAS PLANNED to upgrade Chao Phraya-class frigates now that they have been deployed for nearly three decades.

Due to their decades-long deployment at sea since 1991, HTMS Chao Phraya and HTMS Bangpakong are bound to be upgraded to the extent that the Chinese-built frigates might be serviceable for another 11 years from now, confirmed a navy officer on August 11.

The navy originally planned to deploy the two Chao Phraya-class frigates as offshore patrol vessels for a period of 40 years. Any plans to procure new naval vessels in place of those ageing ones would be shelved for the time being due to the pandemic situation.

HTMS Chao Phraya and HTMS Bangpakong are yet to have partial upgrades to render more maneuverabilities in line with integrated, advanced technologies for modern-day weapon systems.

The 100mm gun in the frigate’s prow section will be replaced with a 76mm gun which is more practically compatible with the state-of-the-art command, control and communication modes whereas the 100mm gun in the ship’s rear section will be removed to make room for the handling of non-combat missions, the navy officer attached to Sattahip naval base said.

Unlike HTMS Kra Buri and HTMS Sai Buri which are of the same class of frigate with a helipad in the stern section, neither HTMS Chao Phraya nor HTMS Bangpakong will have one.

Electronic support measures aboard the ageing frigates are yet to be upgraded for more maneuverabilities in a specific scenario linked with other weapon systems, either on land, in the air or in the sea.

That refers to both electronic measures and electronic countermeasures simultaneously conducted by offshore patrol vessels attached to a given Naval Fleet Area.


Top: HTMS Chao Phraya, above, and HTMS Bangpakong, below, are both to be upgraded. Photos: Defense-studies.blogspot.com

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