BAE Systems Provides Royal Thai Navy With OPV Development Options

BAE systems Royal Thai Navy

BAE Systems has submitted a range of development options to Thai naval shipbuilder Bangkok Dock Company (1957) for future Krabi Class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV).

The options build on the combat enhancements integrated on the second ship in the class, HTMS Pratchuap Khiri Khan, and offer a range of capabilities to the Royal Thai Navy’s future OPV fleet.

These development choices come at a time when there is renewed interest in OPVs and their versatility. The UK’s Royal Navy, which uses a derivative of the same ship, reaffirmed its commitment to the Indo-Pacific region with the continuing deployment of HMS Tamar and HMS Spey.

Alongside the Royal Australian and US Navies, HMS Tamar is playing a pivotal role in an exercise focusing on seabed warfare, using a combination of divers and autonomous underwater vehicles to conduct mine countermeasure operations, and monitor critical infrastructure such as pipelines and communication cables. HMS Tamar will nearly double the size of her crew when she embarks teams of divers and underwater vehicle operators for the exercise.

The ‘plug and play’ modular design of the OPV allows new capabilities to be “bolted-on” as they become necessary, such as drones, divers, autonomous systems and disaster relief stores, depending on the mission they are conducting.