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Royal Thai Navy proposes to upgrade to Pattani-class OPVs, procure more vessels

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has proposed separate programmes to upgrade the service's two Pattani-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and procure at least three additional assets.

These proposals were outlined by the RTN in a video clip uploaded onto the service's official Facebook page on 21 January. The video clip has since been deleted.

The first proposal was the procurement of two additional gun patrol boats for the service. The RTN presentation did not give specific details of what it was proposing to acquire, but an image accompanying the presentation in the video clip suggests that it is considering the M36-class patrol vessel built by local shipyard Marsun.

The M36 class has an overall length of 36 m, an overall beam of 7.6 m, and a hull draught of 1.75 m. It has a top speed of 27 kt, a standard range of 1,200 n miles at 12 kt, and can be armed with either a Vekto G12 20 mm cannon or a 30 mm gun mounted on a stabilised remote-controlled weapon station (RCWS) in the primary position.

Another proposal that was put forward in the presentation is the acquisition of another OPV. Similarly, there was no mention on the vessel type being proposed but images accompanying the presentation suggest that the RTN is considering either the Krabi- or the Pattani-class OPV for this proposal.

Finally, the service also proposed a “capability improvement programme” for the service's fleet of two China-built Pattani-class OPVs, which have been in service since 2005 and 2006 respectively. The 1,300-tonne vessels are each armed with 76 mm naval guns in the primary position.

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