To make this website work, we log user data. By using Shephard's online services, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including cookie policy.

Open menu Search

IMDEX 2023: New Chinese-built LPD arrives in Thailand

5th May 2023 - 00:20 GMT | by Harry Lye in Changi


HTMS Chang pictured under way on its journey from China to Thailand. (Photo: Royal Thai Navy via Facebook)

A new Chinese-built LPD, HTMS Chang, arrived in Thailand in late April, having been collected by the Royal Thai Navy earlier that month.

The Royal Thai Navy took delivery of the ship a little under four years after signing a contract for the single Type 071E LPD in September 2019.

As denoted by the ‘E’, the vessel is an export version of the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) Type 071 LPD.

The export ship is the ninth of the vessel type built by China, eight of which have been delivered to the PLAN.

Royal Thai Navy chooses Hermes 900

IMDEX 2023: Israel Shipyards courts interest in OPV S-45 and S-80 Corvette

IMDEX 2023: Mogami-class frigate calls on Singapore

The new ship, HTMS Chang, arrived in Thailand having been escorted to the country by a number of other Royal Thai Navy ships, including HTMS Narathiwat.

After arriving in Thailand, the new LPD will have radar and weapons systems fitted. It is understood that the Thai ship will carry a Western-supplied radar.

At the time, the sale of the vessel made it China’s first LPD export and largest warship sale, even ahead of the helicopter carrier HTMS Chakri Naruebet.

Measuring 210m in length, the LPD is Thailand’s largest ship and weighs in at over 20,000t.

Unlike the PLAN vessels, the export variant has a larger flight deck able to operate three MH-60 Seahawk-sized helicopters simultaneously.

The Type 071E also has a shorter docking bay but a larger vehicle deck when compared to the PLAN version of the ship.

The deal with China for the ship is worth a reported $200.5 million.

Thailand has increasingly looked to China for military equipment in the past decade following a 2012 strategic partnership.

China is also building new submarines for the Royal Thai Navy derived from the PLAN’s Yuan-class Type 039/041 boats.

As of this January, Thailand had ordered one of the submarines from China.

HTMS Chang doubles the size of Thailand's large LPD fleet, which already includes a Singaporean-built Endurance-class vessel.

The LPD could also be used to support the operations of Thailand’s other Chinese-built LPDs once those enter service.

Thailand has a long-term goal to procure a fleet of four LPDs and is among a number of regional countries to operate Chinese-built ships.

Yuzhao Class (Type 071)

Harry Lye


Harry Lye

Harry Lye was Senior Naval Reporter at Shephard Media.

Harry joined the company in 2021, …

Read full bio

Share to