The Thai government last year approved the purchase of 2 frigates after a previous attempt to purchase 6 used Type U-206 submarines from Germany was unsuccessful.
Instead of the 2 frigates budgeted, Thailand would receive 3 Type 054T frigates, build according to Thai specifications, and which could come with offsets for local component production and up to 6 Z-9C Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopters.
The Thai Navy already operates 4 Type 053 frigates, which were build by China for Thailand during the nineties and fitted with various western systems and weapons.
The Type 054A frigates are upgraded versions of the 2 earlier Type 054 frigates, which in the past have been reported to cost the Chinese Navy around $250 million each. So far, 16 Type 054A hulls have been either launched or commissioned with several more under contruction.
Each Combined Diesel And Diesel (CODAD) Type054A frigate has a length of 134 m, a beam of 16m, a maximum displacement of 4053 tons and is armed with:
- one PJ26 76 mm dual-purpose gun
- 2 x 4 YJ-83 / C-802A anti-ship missiles
- 4 x 8 Vertical Launch System (VLS) able to fire HHQ-16 anti-air missiles or rocket-assisted anti-submarine torpedoes
- two H/PJ12 7-barrel 30 mm Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) gatling guns
- 2 x 3 324 mm torpedoes