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China again offers Thailand-ordered S26T submarine to Indonesia

A model of the S26T submarine, which was originally ordered for the Royal Thai Navy. (Janes)

Officials from China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) were in Jakarta to once again offer the S26T diesel-electric submarine (SSK), which was originally ordered for Thailand, to Indonesia.

Janes can confirm that the CSSC officials were at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) office on 28 June to make a presentation on the S26T SSK and how it can be customised for the Indonesian Navy's requirements, despite the vessel having gone through its build process.

In attendance at the meeting physically were senior officials from the Indonesian MoD, while representatives from the Indonesian Navy's submarine operations command and its Armada II's submarine command joined via a video link.

During the presentation CSSC officials assured the Indonesian MoD that its S26T submarine offer for Indonesia would not be faced with the same types of export restrictions experienced by the intended recipient of the boat, the Royal Thai Navy (RTN).

In particular, the CSSC officials posited that it would be able to incorporate engines from a vendor of choice, including MTU, into the S26T SSK.

And in an apparent move to sweeten the deal, CSSC's offer for Indonesia includes a modification package that would enable the S26T SSK to deploy and launch the Chinese-made YJ-18 torpedo tube-launched anti-ship cruise missile.

Other than that, the S26T SSK would largely retain the features originally ordered for the RTN, including its air independent propulsion (AIP) system.

Thailand signed a THB13.5 billion (USD366.5 million) contract with China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Company (CSOC) for the S26T SSK, which is essentially a modified version of the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLAN's) Yuan class, in 2017.

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