11 July 2024

A new panel is expected to be formed on Wednesday to review the Navy’s procurement of Chinese-made submarines, Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang said today.

The panel will comprise 13-15 members, representing the Navy, the Finance Ministry, the Office of the Attorney-General and the National Defence College, he said, adding that two representatives from the opposition Move Forward party, Rangsiman Rome and Wiroj Lakkhanaadisorn, may be invited to join the panel.

Sutin also said that the procurement contract remains unchanged, which means that the RTN will be procuring Chinese submarines but, if a Chinese frigate is to be acquired instead of the submarines, as has been suggested, there must be consent from the cabinet.

He said he expects a report from the new panel in the next two months.

The submarine deal has been bogged down for several years, since Germany refused to supply the specified engines to China.