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The Navy's First Electric Diesel Submarine: S26T:
In April 2017, the Government of Thailand approved the purchase of approximately $ 411 million worth of diesel-electric submarines from China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation. The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) and Chinese shipbuilder Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co. Ltd held the keel-laying ceremony for the RTN’s first S26T diesel-electric submarine. The ceremony was held in Wuchang Shipbuilding’s yard in Wuhan.
The S26T was based on the Type 039B Yuan-class submarine operated by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). It is expected to displace at around 2,600 tons, has a top speed of 18 knots, and a submerged endurance of up to 20 days. It will be armed with up to 16 torpedoes and up to 30 mines.
The submarine is expected to be delivered to the RTN by 2023. While the RTN has only ordered one unit, the service intends to order another unit and has requested funds from the Thai government to support the program. The second unit is expected to cost less than the first one.
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Steel cutting ceremony for the Royal Thai Navy’s (RTN’s) first S26T submarine