BANGKOK --- The Royal Thai Navy on Thursday said the first group of Thai submariners would receive their training in China, where Thailand’s first submarine fleet in nearly 70 years are being built.
Navy spokesman Prachachat Sirisawat said the navy will select a group of sailors to take training courses in China within this year. Their training would be completed just in time when the first of the three submarines is expected to be delivered to Thailand in 2023.
“Candidates must be able to communicate in English and Chinese, as well as physically and metally fit to work within the confined body of submarines,” Vice Adm. Prachachat said in an interview.
He would not say how many submariners would be trained, but said the training program would take two years to complete for each batch of crews.
The spokesman also confirmed the 22-billion baht deal to buy three brand-new submarines from China is sailing forward as planned. The acquisition was inked in 2017, or 65 years after Thai navy last had submarines under its command.
Three S26T submarines in total were commissioned at the price of two subs, according to the navy.
“The 3-for-2 deal is still on,” he added. “We proposed only two submarines under the agreement, but they gave us three in the price of two.” (end of excerpt)
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