Royal Thai Navy
|Royal Thai Navy
(RTGS: Kongthap Ruea, Ratcha Navy)
Emblem of the Royal Thai Navy
|Allegiance||King Rama IX|
|Branch||Royal Thai Armed Forces|
|Size||71,000 Active personnel
(53,000 Navy personnel)
(18,000 Marine Infantry)
|Garrison/HQ||Sattahip, Chonburi (base), Bangkok Noi, Bangkok (office)|
|Motto||ร่วมเครือนาวี จักยลปฐพีไพศาล (Join the Navy to see the world)|
World War I
French-Thai War (Battle of Koh Chang)
World War II
Piracy in the Strait of Malacca
Piracy in Somalia
|Commander-in-chief||Admiral Surasak Runroengrom|
|Prince Abhakara, the Prince of Chumphon
Phrabat Somdet Phra Pinklao Chaoyuhua
|Royal Thai Navy Flag|
|Naval Jack and Unit Colour|
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.
The Royal Thai Navy operates in three Naval Area Commands:
- First Naval Area Command: responsible for the Northern part of Gulf of Thailand
- Second Naval Area Command: responsible for the Southern part of Gulf of Thailand
- Third Naval Area Command: responsible for the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean)
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.
- 1 History
- 2 Command and Control
- 3 Organization
- 4 Rank and insignia
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Future Equipment
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Taksin the Great rule
World War I
World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War
Command and Control
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
Royal Thai Marine Corps
In 1965, the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC) formed an amphibious reconnaissance company. The unit was tasked with conducting ground and amphibious recon missions, beach reconnaissance, obstacle clearance operations, and conducting special operations in support of RTMC operations.
In 1972, a small group of Thai Recon Marines deployed to Laos as part of volunteer Battalion Commando 619. The group operated in the Plane de Jarres conducting combat operations against the communist Pathet Lao guerillas before being withdrawn. In November 1978 the company was expanded to its current battalion size.
Currently the Bn. is based at Sattahip Naval Base. Commanded by a Lt. Colonel, the battalion is composed of four sub units. A HQ Company (with an attached war dog Plt.), one amphibious recon Company (which contains the Battalion's combat divers), and two motorized recon companies (equipped with V-150 armored cars). There is also a small counter-terrorism Detachment assigned to the unit. The battalion's companies are attached to RTMC Regiments on an as-needed basis.
In 1956 the Royal Thai Navy formed a small combat diver unit, based on the USNs UDTs. In 1965 the unit under went a reorganization, it was expanded and divided into two separate units, a USN Mobile Training Team (MTT) provided assistance. The first group was organized into a SEa, Air and Land, or SEAL team. The second group formed an Underwater Demolition Team, or UDT.
The SEAL team was assigned intelligence gathering, and reconnaissance missions. Maritime CT operations have also been added to the units primary tasks. The UDTs conduct salvage operations, and underwater demolitions, and obstacle clearance operations in support of RTMC amphibious operations.
Currently the SEALs consists of approximately 144 men commanded by a Lt. Commander, and are diveded into SEAL Teams One and Two. Each SEAL Team is subdivided into four platoons.
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.
- Maritime patrol plane: 27
- Military transport plane: 11
- Sea helicopter: 8
- Military transport helicopter: 18
- Unmanned aerial vehicle: 2
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. They also interested in S-300 or S-400 SAM to upgrade their air defnse 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.
Rank and insignia
- Mid-life upgrade of the Naresuan Class FFG - On 3 June 2011, Saab announced that it was awarded a contract for the upgrading of the two Naresuan class frigates. The scope of the upgrade will include Saab's 9LV MK4 combat management system, Sea Giraffe AMB, CEROS 200 fire control radar, EOS 500 electro-optics system and data link systems for communications with the newly acquired Royal Thai Air Force Erieye surveillance aircraft. After the upgraded, Naresuan Class FFG will be equipped with a Mk 41 VLS with maximum of 32 RIM-162 ESSM.
- Submarine procurement - On 13 October 2013, The Royal Thai Navy plans to complete the construction of a submarine squadron headquarters and training centre in March next year, despite not having any submarines in its fleet. Construction on the project began last year at Chon Buri's Sattahip Naval Base. The navy is eyeing the purchase of at least three submarines as part of its next 10-year procurement plan.
- New offshore patrol vessels (OPV) - In late 2009, Royal Thai Navy announced the construction of a 2000 ton, 75m long OPV based on BAE Systems Surface Ships's Port of Spain class corvette. The total requirement of Royal Thai Navy is four OPVs, based on this design, to be constructed in Thailand. The new OPV will be equipped with Otobreda 76 mm/62 Super Rapid main gun, 2 x DS-30M 30 mm Cannon, and 2x .50 MG with the projection to be equipped with SSM when needed. Others 3 OPV required.
- New landing platform dock ship - The Thai Cabinet approved a package of defence modernization deals in a meeting on 9 September 2008. This clears the RTN to purchase an LPD to be designed and built by ST Marine of Singapore, believed to be based on the Endurance-class LPD. The ship will be delivered in 2012 at a cost of around US$150million. The HTMS Angthong (791) was launched on the 21 March 2011.
- New frigates - On 21 April 2013, Navy announced that the South Korea has been chosen to build 2 new multi-role frigates for Royal Thai Navy. The procurement will be divide into 2 phases, 1 ship for each phase, span approximate 5 years. On 30 July 2013 The cabinet approved first phase of the program. On 4 August 2013 Navy announced the rough specification of the new frigate  which will be base on South Korea KDX-1 Destroyer . New frigate will include the ability to launch RIM-162 ESSM, unknown model of Vertical-Launch anti-submarine rocket and a data link system to communicate with Naresuan Class Frigate and Royal Thai Air Force . The ship is FFBNW (Fit For But Not With) the RIM-66 Standard MR or SM-2MR, but SAAB still cannot integrate the missile to their system. It's still the future upgrade plan. Royal Thai navy also planned to build second frigate in Mahidol Adulyadej naval dockyard.
- Transferred Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate - On 9 January 2013, United States offer to transfer 2 old Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates to Thailand. However, this offer is still inconclusive as there is no reply from Thai Navy yet .
RTN Flying Unit
- New tactical transport helicopter - In April 2006, the Thai Navy requested permission from the United States to buy six MH-60S Navy Hawks. An agreement of purchase was signed in June 2007, and the first two aircraft were delivered in August 2011.
- VIP and MEDEVAC aircraft - The Royal Thai Navy received a single Embraer ERJ-135 jet in late 2008, followed by an order for a second aircraft in October 2009; both aircraft were outfitted with medical evacuation kits, as well as being used for official transportation.
RTN Marine Corps and SEALs
- New armoured personnel carrier (APC) - RTN signed a contract to procure 12 BTR-3s from Ukraine in mid-2007, the first of which began arriving in December 2010, with deliveries scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.
RTN Air and Coastal Defence Command
- Surface-to-air missile procurement - RTN plans to replace the Anti-aircraft guns after buy the Buk-M2E
- Small patrol ship - The King of Thailand, initiated a project to build and commission a small new patrol craft, the T.991 Class in 2002. The first ship, T.991, was built in the Royal Thai Navy Dock. Another two, T.992 and T.993, was built by Mason Shipbuilding in Thailand. The first ship was commissioned on 30 April 2007.
- Local-build OPV - On 11 November 2008, the Cabinet approveed the plan to build a new offshore patrol vessel (OPV) in a deal worth three billion baht ($USD 85 million). Although RTN still did not unveil the design, the vessel will be built in Mahidol dockyard in Thailand.
- Underwater craft - Naval Research & Development Office of Royal Thai Navy has awarded contacts to Bangkok Dockyard Co., Ltd. to build an Underwater craft. The craft is 20 tons in displacement and cost 5 million Baht.
- Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartiwongse Prince of Chumphon
- Royal Thai Armed Forces Headquarters
- Military of Thailand
- Royal Thai Army
- Royal Thai Air Force
- Royal Thai Marine Corps
- Royal Thai Naval Academy
- "Saab receives order from Thailand regarding the upgrading of combat management system and fire control systems". Saab AB. 3 June 2011.
- DefenseNews.com Thailand Plans $191.3M Arms Purchase
- "South Korea has been Chosen to Build Thai Navy Frigate". Bangkok Post. 21 April 2013.
- "Rough specification of a new frigate (in Thai)". Royal Thai Navy. 4 August 2013.
- "US Transfers Two OHP Class Frigates to Thailand". DEFENSE STUDIES. 9 January 2013.
- Defense Industry Daily Up to $246M for 6 Royal Thai Navy MH-60S Helicopters
- "EMBRAER SELLS SECOND ERJ 135 JET TO THE ROYAL THAI NAVY". Aviationnews.eu. 16 October 2009. Archived from the original on 7 December 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "Is it the right tool for the job?". Bangkok Post. 9 December 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- Thai Military Blog ต.๙๙๑ เรือรบตามพระราชดำริ...ของกองทัพเรือไทย (Thai)
- "เรือตรวจการณ์ใกล้ฝั่ง เฉลิมพระเกียรติ ๘๐ พรรษา". Royal Thai Navy. Archived from the original on 7 December 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- Matichon Online ครม.อนุมัติงบกว่า 3 พันล้าน ถอยเรือตรวจการใหม่ (Thai)
- OA Military Book กองทัพเรือจัดสร้างยานใต้น้ำลำแรกของไทย