6 June 2024

The Royal Thai Navy’s HTMS Naresuan frigate sustained damage to its torpedo launcher and life rafts as it was leaving port at the Map Ta Phut industrial estate in Chon Buri province during a naval exercise, said Admiral Pokkrong Monthatphalin, the RTN spokesman today (Tuesday).

He told the media that the accident took place on July 26th, during a naval exercise codenamed “Naval Security Port and Ship Map Ta Phut Exercise 2023” (NASMEX 2023), held from July 25th to 27th to test the readiness of defence systems against threats from the sea.

He said that the starboard side of the frigate accidentally struck the corner of the port wall.

He said there were no casualties and a committee has been formed to investigate the cause of the accident, adding that the extent of the damage is currently being assessed by experts.

Naresuan-class frigates were jointly designed by the RTN and China, but were built by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation in Shanghai. Two vessels of the class, Naresuan and Taksin, were commissioned in December 1994 and October 1995 respectively. They are regarded as the RTN’s most advanced and heavily-armed surface ships.

Although built in China, the two frigates were fitted with western engines and weapon systems.  China gave a “friendship” price to Thailand for the building of the two frigates, at about two billion baht, compared to the 8 billion baht price tag for western-built frigates.

The Naresuan-class frigate has a displacement of about 3,000 tons at full load and a complement of 150. It has a helicopter deck and is armed with Harpoon anti-ship missiles.