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Thai submarine faces indeterminate delay due to engine woes

5th January 2023 - 11:00 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch

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Thailand will have to wait a considerable period of time before it gets its hands on an S26T submarine. (Photo: author)

An 'oversight' by the Chinese shipbuilder has thrown Thailand's submarine procurement into chaos.

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is facing a considerable and worrying delay for a solitary S26T diesel-electric submarine from China. The reason is the choice of propulsion unit.

Originally, China proposed to use MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines to run the electric generator set in the submarine. However, Germany refused to sell the power plants because of an EU arms embargo on China.

This was confirmed last year by German military attaché Philipp Doert, who stated no export licence had been issued because it was intended for a Chinese military item. He further noted: ‘China did not ask/coordinate with

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Gordon Arthur

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Gordon Arthur


Gordon Arthur is the Asia Pacific editor for Shephard Media. Born in Scotland and educated …

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