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Defense & Security 2023: Marsun, TKMS pitch A-100 light frigate for Thai navy

Marsun and TKMS are pitching the MEKO A-100 design to meet the Royal Thai Navy's long-term requirements for a new light frigate. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)

Thai shipbuilder Marsun has teamed with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) to offer the German company's MEKO A-100 light frigate to the Royal Thai Navy (RTN).

Under the partnership, TKMS will supply A-100 design and technical support while Marsun will act as the lead local firm, supporting ship construction and supply chain requirements.

A Marsun official told Janes at the Defense & Security 2023 show in Bangkok on 8 November that the partnership is aimed at building local technical and industrial capability as well as meeting RTN requirements for future frigates.

Construction of the frigate could take place through a Marsun arrangement with the RTN naval dockyard in Sattahip. Other local firms would be included to produce other parts of the ship, Marsun said.

Another key element of the bid, said the companies, is the modular design of the A-100. “The RTN will be able to customise the light frigate as per their requirements,” said a TKMS official.

A tender to procure a new light frigate has not been released by the RTN. However, Marsun and TKMS are confident that a formal requirement will emerge soon, perhaps in 2024.

“There is no timeline for this acquisition,” said the Marsun official. “But we see a requirement in the RTN for one additional light frigate and then three more over the coming 14 years.”

He added that these requirements exclude the frigate that the RTN acquired from South Korean firm Hanwha Ocean in December 2018 and the planned procurement of a frigate from China.

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