Royal Thai Navy

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Royal Thai Navy
กองทัพเรือ, ราชนาวี
(RTGS: Kongthap Ruea, Ratcha Navy)
Royal Thai Navy Seal.svg
Emblem of the Royal Thai Navy
Active 1887
Country  Thailand
Allegiance King Rama IX
Branch Royal Thai Armed Forces
Type Navy
Size 71,000 Active personnel
(53,000 Navy personnel)
(18,000 Marine Infantry)
Garrison/HQ Sattahip, Chonburi (main base)
Bangkok Noi, Bangkok (headquarter)
Motto ร่วมเครือนาวี จักยลปฐพีไพศาล (Join the Navy to see the world)
Colors Navy blue
Engagements Franco-Siamese War
World War I
French-Thai War (Battle of Koh Chang)
World War II
Korean War
Palace Rebellion
Manhattan Rebellion
Vietnam War
Piracy in the Strait of Malacca
Piracy in Somalia
Commanders
Commander-in-chief Admiral Kraison Chansuwanit
Notable
commanders
Prince Abhakara
King Pinklao
Luang Sinthusongkhramchai
Insignia
Royal Thai Navy Flag Royal Thai Navy Flag.svg
Naval Jack and Unit Colour Naval Jack of Thailand.svg
Naval Ensign Naval Ensign of Thailand.svg

The Royal Thai Navy (Thai: กองทัพเรือ) is the navy of Thailand and part of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, it was established in the late 19th century. Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartiwongse (1880–1923) is "The Father of Royal Thai Navy". Similar to the organizational structure of the United States, the Royal Thai Navy includes the Naval Fleet, and the Royal Thai Marine Corps. The Royal Thai Navy operates out of Sattahip Naval Base. Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country which operates an Aircraft carrier though it is used as a pure helicopter carrier with the retirement of the Harrier fighter wing.[1] Thailand is the 2nd nation of Asia to have submarines, following Japan, however no submarines are operated by Thailand currently.

The Royal Thai Navy operates in three Naval Area Commands:

The Royal Thai Navy also has two air wings, operating 40 fixed-wing aircraft and 30 helicopters from Utapao, Songkhla and Phuket. The First Royal Thai Navy wing has 4 squadrons and the Second Royal Thai Navy wing has 3 squadrons. Moreover, the Royal Thai Navy also consists of 1 Royal Thai Marine Corps division, 1 Air and Coastal Defence Division, Royal Thai Navy SEALs and 1 Riverine Patrol Regiment.

The United States Navy and Royal Thai Navy conduct the annual joint operation Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT). CARAT is an annual series of bilateral maritime training exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Philippines.

History[edit]

Origin[edit]

Franco-Siamese War[edit]

Main article: Paknam incident

World War I[edit]

Main article: Siam in World War I

Prior to World War I, only land and naval forces were utilized in battlefields. The air force was non-existent. In modern warfare, however, three-dimensional operation is required to accomplish each country's mission. Thus warships, replenishment ships, aircraft, and marines became an integral part of the Royal Thai Navy. Over the years, the Royal Thai Navy has gradually developed its wartime and peacetime capabilities.[2]

After World War I[edit]

HTMS Matchanu and Wirun at Kobe Port
HTMS Thonburi

In 1933, Admiral Sindhu Kamalanavin, the then Chief of Staff, Royal Thai Navy made a suggestion to the Royal Thai Navy to procure two 400-ton torpedo boats, HTMS Trad and HTMS Phuket, from Italy and three inshore patrol craft Nos. 6, 7 and 8 from England. The ship procurement suffered financial constraints making it uncertain whether the naval force could efficiently meet the challenge in wartime. Hence, Admiral Sindhu Kamalanavin initiated a naval force support project aimed at making the warships capable of fulfilling the following missions.[2]

In 1934, the Naval Force Support Act was passed in Parliament and went into effect on 1 April 1935. The Royal Thai Navy made an agreement with the Government to be allowed to adjust the type and numbers of ships to be procured. The idea was to obtain, at a minimum, all the ships in the list submitted. It turned out that, with the approved budget, the Royal Thai Navy was able to procure additional ships as can be seen in the chart below.

French-Thai War[edit]

Main article: Battle of Koh Chang

World War II[edit]

Main article: Pacific War

Apart from developing naval capabilities as proposed to the government in the 1935 Naval Support Act, the Royal Thai Navy signed a contract for the construction of two cruisers, HTMS Naresuan and HTMS Taksin, from Italy on 22 September 1938. Construction was delayed by Italy's entry into World War II and the Italian government took over the contract in late 1941. Designated the Etna class, the uncompleted vessels were scuttled and later scrapped. The Royal Thai Navy was reimbursed for the cost of both ships by the Italian Navy.[2]

After World War II[edit]

The United States government provided a loan to the Thai government to purchase surplus war materials from the United States and the United Kingdom such as warships, auxiliaries, arms and equipment etc., which they no longer needed after the war. With a special deal, the Royal Thai Navy decided to procure the following vessels.[2]

Vietnam War[edit]

In 1966, the Royal Thai government began to actively support the Vietnam War by dispatching two Royal Thai Navy vessels into service in South Vietnam.[additional citation needed][3]

Current[edit]

The navy's combat forces included the Royal Fleet and the Royal Thai Marine Corps. The 130 vessels of the Royal Fleet included frigates equipped with surface-to-air missiles, fast attack craft armed with surface-to-surface missiles, large coastal patrol craft, coastal minelayers, coastal minesweepers, landing craft, and training ships.

The mission spaces of Thailand navy include the Thai Gulf and Indian Ocean, separated by land, and river. Naval affairs were directed by the country's most senior admiral from his Bangkok headquarters. The naval commander in chief was supported by staff groups that planned and administered such activities as logistics, education and training, and various special services. The headquarters general staff functioned like those of corresponding staffs in the army and air force command structures.

Journalists indicted for defaming the Navy, and lawsuit against news agency[edit]

A 20 April 2014 Bangkok Post editorial said that [last] "Monday, a major news agency won the Pulitzer Prize for their work exposing Thailand’s involvement in the trafficking of Myanmar’s oppressed Rohingya minority through what it called a “tropical gulag”. On Thursday, two journalists running a small, independent website in Phuket were formally indicted for criminally defaming the Royal Thai Navy by quoting part of the award-winning report." Furthermore, "But Phuketwan editor Alan Morison and journalist Chutima Sidasathian, who had played a substantial role in the Reuters investigation, had to worry about the threat of seven years in jail and whether they would be granted bail".[4] As of 22 April, the lawsuit has not been dropped.[5]

As of 22 April 2014, the Navy "was preparing a second lawsuit against the Reuters news agency".[5]

Command and Control[edit]

The Royal Thai Navy is commanded by the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy, currently Admiral Surasak Rounroengrom, who was appointed in 2011. The Royal Thai Navy Headquarters is located in Derm Palace, Wang Derm Road, Bangkok, Thailand.

  • Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Navy: Admiral Surasak Rounroengrom
  • Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Navy: Admiral Narong Pipattanasai
  • President, Royal Thai Navy Advisory Group: Admiral Amorntep Na Bangchang
  • Assistant Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Navy: Admiral Polawat Sirodom
  • Chief of Staff, Royal Thai Navy: Admiral Jakchai Poocharoenyos
  • Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Fleet: Admiral Kanat Thongpool

List of Commanders[edit]

Organization[edit]

Branches[edit]

Royal Thai Naval Air Division[edit]

The concept of establishing a Naval Air Arm was first proposed by Admiral H.R.H. Prince Abhakara, Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Marine on 23 November 1921 when the matter was raised at the Third General Ministerial Meeting that "It is high time the Navy establish a Naval Air Arm in 1922 and use Sattahip as the Naval Air Station. .We could begin with two naval aircraft procurement.."

Later at the Fourth General Ministerial Meeting on 7 December 1921, the Joint Military Commission approved the proposal for establishment of the Naval Air Arm and assigned Admiral H.R.H. Prince Abhakara to draw up the details of the scheme for implementation. Each year, celebrations for the Founding Anniversary of the Naval Air Division are organised on 7 December, commemorating the approval date by the Joint Military Commission. In recognition of his far-sighted proposal, Admiral H.R.H. Prince Abhakara is also regarded as the Founding Father of the Naval Air Division.[6]

Royal Thai Naval Air and Coastal Defence Command[edit]

Coastal Defense Command was formed in 1992 under the control of the Royal Fleet Headquarters, with one coastal defence regiment (equipped with 155 mm artillery) and one air defence regiment (equipped with 40 mm and 37 mm anti-aircraft guns as well as HN-5A MANPADs). Personnel were initially drawn from the Royal Thai Marine Corps but are now being recruited directly. The First Coastal Defence Regiment is based near the Marine Corps facility at Sattahip. The First Air Defence Regiment near the Naval Air Wing at Utapao. Coastal Defence Command was greatly expanded in 1992, following the government's decision in 1988 to charge the RTN with the responsibility of defending the entire Eastern Seaboard and Southern Seaboard Development Project. The Second Air Defence Regiment, based at Songkhla, was then formed on the following year. Some analysts believe this element will eventually grow to a strength of up to 15,000.[7] They also interested in S-300 or S-400 SAM to upgrade their air defense system.

  • The First Air Defence Regiment; to perform an Anti-aircraft warfare on Northern Gulf of Thailand with 3 Anti-aircraft Battalions.
  • The Second Air Defence Regiment; to perform an Anti-aircraft warfare on Southern Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea with 3 Anti-aircraft Battalions.
  • The First Coastal Defence Regiment, having 3 Artillery Battalions.
  • 2 Air and Coastal Defence Command and Control Centers.
  • Air and Coastal Defence Supporting Regiment; 1 transportation battalion, 1 communication battalion, 1 maintenance battalion.

District Forces[edit]

Rank and insignia[edit]

Equipment[edit]

Active combat ships[edit]

Class Photo Origin Hull No./Commissioned Displacement Notes
Aircraft carrier (1 in service)
Chakri Naruebet
Chakri Naruebet 2001.JPEG
 Spain
Empresa Nacional Bazán
CV 911/1997 11,486 tonnes Based on the Spanish Navy's Principe de Asturias design, Harrier fighters were retired in 2006, used as helicopter carrier.[8]
Frigate (8 in service)
Knox class
USS Ouellet FF-1077.jpg
 United States
Avondale Shipyard
FFG 461/1994
FFG 462/1997
4,260 tonnes Ex-USS Truett (1974–1994). Leased in 1994. Purchased in 1999 and Ex-USS Ouellet (1970–1993).
Type 025T class
HTMS Naresuan in Hong Kong.JPG
 China
CSSC
 Thailand (Design)
FFG 421/1995
FFG 422/1995
2,985 tonnes Mid-Life Upgrade in progress with installing 8 x Mk41 VLS for RIM-162 ESSM, Saab's 9LV MK4 CMS, Sea Giraffe AMB, CEROS 200 fire control radar, EOS 500 electro-optics system, New CIWS and data link systems.[9][10]
Type 053HT class  China
CSSC
FFG 455/1991
FFG 456/1991
FFG 457/1992
FFG 458/1992
1,924 tonnes Modernized Jianghu-class. HTMS Kraburi and HTMS Saiburi are undergoing Mid-Life Upgrade with Type 360 Radar (SR-60A) with improved IFF, New CMS, NG12-1 Twin-barrel 100mm Naval Gun, TR47C Tracking Radar, 8 x C802A missiles.
Corvettes (7 in service)
Ratanakosin class
HTMS Rattanakosin (FSG 441).jpg
 United States
Tacoma Boat
FS 441/1986
FS 442/1987
960 tonnes US built PFMM Mk.16 class. Undergoing upgraded Electronic systems.

Armament:

Tapi class  United States
American Shipbuilding
FF 431/1971
FF 432/1974
1,191 tonnes Anti-submarine warfare corvette.
Khamronsin class  Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard and Italthai Marine
FS 531/1992
FS 532/1992
FS 533/1992
630 tonnes Anti-submarine warfare corvette.
Patrol vessels (22 in service)
River class
RAN-IFR 2013 D3 43.JPG
 United Kingdom
Vosper Thornycroft
 Thailand
Bangkok Dock
OPV 551/2013 1,969 tonnes United Kingdom design to Built in Thailand and locally produced.[11]
Pattani class  China
CSSC
 Thailand (Design)
OPV 511/2005
OPV 512/2005
1,460 tonnes Thailand design to Built in China.
Makut Rajakumarn class  United Kingdom
Yarrow Shipbuilders
FF 433/1973 1,900 tonnes Currently used as Offshore Patrol Vessel and/or training role.
Hua Hin class  Thailand
Asian Marine Services and Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard
 China (Design)
PC 541/2001
PC 542/2001
PC 543/2001
590 tonnes China design to Built in Thailand.
PSMM Mk.5 Class  Thailand
Italthai Marine
PC 521/1983
PC 522/1984
PC 523/1985
PC 524/1985
PC 525/1985
PC 526/1986
300 tonnes
Tor 991 class  Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard and Marsun Shipbuilding
T.991/2007
T.992/2007
T.993/2007
186 tonnes An enlarged, modernized version of the Tor 91 class. Extra '9' added in honour of King Rama IX who offered input on the project. Vessels launched in 2007.[12][13]
Tor 994 class  Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard and Marsun Shipbuilding
T.994/2011
T.995/2011
T.996/2011
186 tonnes Vessels launched in 2011.[14]
M36 class  Thailand
Marsun Shipbuilding
T.111/2014
T.112/2014
T.113/2014
150 tonnes Vessels launched in 2014.[15]
Fast Attack Craft (9 in service)
BMB-230 Class  Italy
Cantiere Navale Breda
FAC 321/1979
FAC 322/1979
FAC 323/1979
270 tonnes
FPB-45 Class  Singapore
Singapore Technologies Marine
FAC 311/1976
FAC 312/1976
FAC 313/1977
263 tonnes Similar to Singapore Navy's Seawolf-class missile gunboats (a design based on the West Germany's Lürssen TNC45 FAC[16]).
MV400 Class  Italy
Cantiere Navale Breda
FAC 331/1983
FAC 332/1983
FAC 333/1983
450 tonnes same as Rajcharit class except 76/62 gun in the y position replacing of SSM
  • 2 x 76/62 Oto-Melara Naval Gun
  • 1 x 40/70 Bofors gun
  • 2 x .50" Gun
Training Ship/Salute Ship (1 in service)
Cannon class DE  United States
Western Pipe and Steel Company
DE-1/1959 1,620 tonnes Former USS Hemminger (DE-746). Currently used as salute ship.
Amphibious warfare ship (3 in service)
Endurance class  Singapore
Singapore Technologies Marine
LPD 79/2012 7,600 tonnes Designed and built by ST Marine of Singapore, believed to be based on the Endurance-class LPD. The HTMS Angthong (791) was launched on the 21 March 2011.
Normed PS 700 class
US Navy 100203-N-6692A-154 The Royal Thai Navy medium landing ship HTMS Surin (LST 722) transits the Gulf of Thialand.jpg
 Thailand
Italthai Marine and Bangkok Dock
LST 721/1987
LST 722/1988
4,520 tonnes
Landing Craft Utility (9 in service)
Marsun M55 class  Thailand
Marsun Shipbuilding
LCU 784/2010
LCU 785/2010
???
Thongkaeo class  Thailand
Bangkok Dock
LCU 771/1982
LCU 772/1983
LCU 773/1983
LCU 774/1983
396 tonnes
Mannok class  Thailand
Silkline International - Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) Joint Venture
LCU 781/?
LCU 782/?
LCU 783/?
550 tonnes

Active auxiliary ships[edit]

Class Photo Origin Hull No./Commissioned Displacement Notes
Replenishment ships (9 in service)
HTMS Similan  China
CSSC
AOR 871/1996 22,000 tonnes
Jula class(ll)  Singapore
Singmarine Shipyard
YO 831/1980 1,661 tonnes
YOG-5 Class  United States
Albina Engine and Machine Works
YO 832/1947 1,235 tonnes
Prong class  Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard
YO 833/? 412 tonnes
Proet class  Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard
YO 834/1969
YO 835/1970
410 tonnes
Matra class  Thailand
Marsun Shipbuilding
YO ???/2014 500 tonnes
Chuang class  Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard
YO 841/1966
YO 842/1974
360 tonnes
Minesweeper ships (7 in service)
MSC-289 class  United States
Dorchester Shipbuilding and Peterson Builders
MSC 612/1965
MSC 613/1965
384 tonnes
HTMS Thalang  Thailand
Bangkok Dock
MCS 621/1980 1,095 tonnes
M48 class  Germany
Friedrich Lurssen Werft
MCS 631/1987
MCS 632/1987
444 tonnes
Gaeta class  Italy
Intermarine SpA
MCS 633/1999
MCS 634/2000
697 tonnes
Research and survey vessels (3 in service)
HTMS Chan  Germany
Friedrich Lurssen Werft
AGOR 811/1961 996 tonnes
HTMS Sok  Thailand
Bangkok Dock
AGOR 812/1982 1,526 tonnes
HTMS Paruehasabordee  Thailand
Unithai Shipbuilding and Engineering - Shelde Naval Shipbuilding Joint Venture
AGOR 813/2008 1,636 tonnes
Tugboats (6 in service)
Rin class  Singapore
Singmarine Shipyard
YTM 853/1981
YTM 854/1981
421 tonnes
Samsan class  Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard
YTM 855/1994
YTM 856/1994
385 tonnes
Klungbadan class  Canada
Canadian Bridge
YTL 851/1954
YTL 852/1954
80 tonnes

Future ships[edit]

Vessel Origin Type Class Displacement Status Notes
Submarine
 ??? (SS ???)  ??? Attack submarine ??? class  ??? tonnes Offer
Frigate
 ??? (FFG ???)  South Korea
 Thailand
Multi-role stealth frigate DW 3000F class 3,700 tonnes Under construction Delivery in 2018
 ??? (FFG ???)  South Korea
 Thailand
Multi-role stealth frigate DW 3000F class 3,700 tonnes Order Delivery in 2020
USS Rentz (FFG-46)  United States Guided missile frigate Oliver Hazard Perry class 4,200 tonnes Offer Thai offer in 2014
USS Vandegrift (FFG-48)  United States Guided missile frigate Oliver Hazard Perry class 4,200 tonnes Offer Thai offer in 2014
Patrol vessel
 ??? (OPV ???)  Thailand Offshore patrol vessel River class 1,900 tonnes Order [17]
 ??? (PC ???)  Thailand Patrol Boat M58 class  ??? tonnes Order
 ??? (PC ???)  Thailand Patrol Boat M85 class  ??? tonnes Order

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Thailand: A country study (Barbara Leitch LePoer, ed.). Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress of the USA (September 1987).  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

  1. ^ http://www.pacificwingsmagazine.com/content/end-legend-harrier-farewell
  2. ^ a b c d http://www.navy.mi.th/newwww/document/history/history_rtn/content2.php
  3. ^ http://books.google.co.th/books?id=pfCIAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA166&lpg=PA166&dq=royal+thai+navy+vietnam+war&source=bl&ots=N1FDP-Ogt5&sig=NNdMieMSGGctOSaZDOkuJYVX3Z0&hl=th&sa=X&ei=5ZoyU5HFIoa1iQfd84GQDg&ved=0CE4Q6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=royal%20thai%20navy%20vietnam%20war&f=false
  4. ^ Navy must end its attack on reporters
  5. ^ a b Navy to extend lawsuit to Reuters
  6. ^ http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/thailand/navair.htm
  7. ^ http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/thailand/acdc.htm
  8. ^ "HTMS Chakri Naruebet has been Installed with SADRAL Missile Weapon System". November 14, 2013. 
  9. ^ "BAE Systems Awarded ESSM Upgrade Contract for Thai Navy". July 3, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Advanced Technology from Saab for Fleet Thailand". July 2, 2014. 
  11. ^ "HTMS Krabi Jalani Sea Trial". April 29, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Coastal patrol boats launched by royals". The Nation (Thailand). 7 September 2007. 
  13. ^ "Her Majesty Presides over Launching Ceremony of Navy’s Patrol Boats". Thai-ASEAN News Network (TAN). 7 September 2007. 
  14. ^ http://www.thaiarmedforce.com/taf-special/331-tafspecial48.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ http://thaidefense-news.blogspot.com/2014/03/111-112.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "Naval vessels as built by Lurssen GmbH". Lurssen.com. Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  17. ^ http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140417/DEFREG03/304170021/Thai-Navy-May-Build-Second-Patrol-Boat-Under-BAE-License?odyssey=mod

External links[edit]