The Joneses… Thai Takes Delivery of Type 071 LPD

HTMS Chang conducting sea trials in December 2022. Internet

SHAH ALAM: The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has taken delivery of its first China-made Type 071 LPD on April 9. The delivery was held at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, Thai media reported. HTMS Chang – once commissioned into RTN – is expected to arrive in Thailand on April 27.

Thailand signed a contract with China for the procurement of a Type 071E LPD on September 9, 2019, according to Naval News. The amphibious vessel, built by China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) is based on the Type 071 of the PLAN. The deal was reported to cost only US$200 million, Naval News has reported.

HTMS Chang undergoing sea trial in December 2022. Internet.

Naval News also reported that the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) currently has eight vessels of the Type 071 class commissioned in its fleet. Thailand is the first export customer of the class. Originally designed after the 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, Type 071 is 210 meters long and 28 meters wide. It can carry 800 marines (1 battalion) and some 20 amphibious vehicles.
Indonesian Navy hospital ship KRI dr. Radjiman Wedyodiningrat which was commissioned into service in January 19 2023. PT PAL

It must be noted that CSSC had also marketed the same ship to Malaysia to meet the MRSS requirement of the RMN. The company took part in LIMA 2017 to promote the ship. Two years later, however, Malaysia signed the contract for the purchase of four LMS instead. The MRSS requirement has yet to be fulfilled and it remained unclear when it will be funded.

— Malaysian Defence

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35 Comments

  1. My question is: why would they need the capacity to transport 1 full battalion to ….where? I get they get bad floods in the south during monsoon, but this is big ship is overkill to me. A bit like the Thaitanic..

  2. the new LPD at 22,000 tons is 2x the displacement of the Cakri Naruebet aircraft carrier.

    US$200 million, for a 210m long, 22,000 ton ship is so cheap. That LPD is so big that you could probably park 2 of the chinese built 68m, 700 ton LMS on its helicopter deck.

  3. Tom Tom – ”My question is:”

    The only RTN base which can accommodate it will be Sattahip where the Cakri Naruebet is also homeported. The question is why the need such a platform with that displacement but then why did they get the Cakri Naruebet? Also, the RMN’s MPSS is also intended to have the capacity to lift a battalion.

    … – ”22,000 ton ship is so cheap”

    It may be ”cheap” on paper but we don’t know the fit out; DC standards and various other things…

  4. Mr Marhalim.. How progress RMN MRSS program?? Any good news on it during LIMA’23??

  5. “The question is why the need such a platform with that displacement”

    The official line is that they need a large ship for HADR in the event of something like the boxing day tsunami, or the big bangkok floods happening.

    To be honest, I don’t see a need for such a big LPD for the Thai navy. Their army can reach 99% of their territory by land. If I am planning for the Thai navy, I would plan for an equal strength of fleet in the andaman sea and the gulf of thailand, with ASW resources concentrated in the andaman sea due to the increasing proliferation of submarines there.

  6. Hulubalang “US$200 million, for a 210m long, 22,000 ton ship is so cheap.”

    Not that cheap. From some publications it seem the Juan Carlos 1 can be had for US$250 million for a non customized, specialized, non pimp my ride, absolutely off the shelf like the Thai seem to did with type 071.

  7. @ darthzaft,

    Last I checked the Juan Carlos 1 costs €462 million, with the Aussie Canberra version at AUD1.55 billion each.

    So where did you get the 250 million number from?

  8. … – ”As a major non-NATO ally, the thais buys so much of chinese hardware.”

    From the late 1980’s when Thailand was offered various Chinese kit at ”friendship” prices and got frigates [with very poor DC standards]; MBTs [the steel quality as so poor there were cracks], IFVs and MANPADs. In the past the RTN was close to receiving former PLAN Romeo subs which luckily for it the plan fell through.

    I don’t know about the ”major” part but Thailand is a U.S. non NATO ally and has benefited from receiving various things in the past; i.e. engines for the ex Spanish Matadors.

    … – ”The royal thai navy mainly uses Malaysia as their boogeymen”

    They officially declared in 1997 that they were getting AMRAAM for the Hornets they ordered but later canceled as a counter against the R-77s were were rumoured to have bought during the same period but didn’t.

  9. Afaik, this LPD Will be the flagship of RTN replacing the cakri naruebet. RTN need an icon for their navy.

    Talking about LPD, it seems RMN MPSS is still in the dark. Although it has been years that MPSS is one of RMN priority but there is not a clear clue when and which shipyard will build it.
    A lot of money will be allocated to continue LCS and LMS batch 2, I am afraid there is no money left in the pocket.

  10. Hulubalang “the Juan Carlos 1 costs €462 million, with the Aussie Canberra version at AUD1.55 billion each.”

    For The cost of materials & assembly but not including the R&D & Intergration cost.

    The Chinese & Korean ship are “cheap” because the R&D & Intergration cost for exports are absorbed by their respective host taxpayer’s.

  11. Yes, we are all hoping for a decision on the LMS batch 2 at LIMA. Personally this armchair Admiral is going for the ADA, but slightly modified, perhaps a touch bigger (to accommodate the RMNs needs with regards to range and endurance). Fingers and toes crossed.

  12. Zaft – ”The Chinese & Korean ship are “cheap” because the R&D & Intergration cost for exports are absorbed by their respective host taxpayer’s.”

    How a ship is fitted out [i.e. DC standards, sensors, etc] and what the customer specifies [grade of steel; living areas; etc] plays a part.

    Tom Tom – ”but slightly modified, perhaps a touch bigger (to accommodate the RMNs needs with regards to range and endurance). ”

    Lengthened to accommodate a VLS. The standard design has sufficient endurance [2 weeks with food, water and fuel in reserve in the event the ship has to stay on on station a bit longer] and range [everywhere within our territorial waters; EEZ and the periphery is 2-3 sailing time] for our requirements.

  13. @ Tom tom,

    Ada/milgem corvette

    1. No need to modify it to be bigger. As it is the ship is already quite big. It is 99.56m long with a 2400 tons displacement. That is already bigger than the Kedah class OPV. Any bigger it would be as big as the Maharajalela class frigate.

    2. Ukrainian version of tha Ada class is designed with VL MICA launchers fitted within the existing size of the ship. No need to lengthen it to fit VLS.

    3. The Ada class corvette costs around USD250 million (Pakistan) to USD256 million (Ukraine). That is already 1/3 more of the budget per ship allocated for the LMS Batch 2. Stretching it to be bigger will cost more.

    4. The Ada class corvette uses gas turbine engine. RMN has never used gas turbine due to the high cost associated with it.

    5. Actually a stretched Ada class has been created, the Istanbul class. It is very similar to how the Gowind 2500 corvette design was stretched to become the Maharajalela class frigate.

    6. Is a fully armed corvette the correct and cost effective response to current Malaysian maritime security challenges (encroachment and persistent presence of Chinese Coast Guard ships in Malaysian EEZ)? What would be a better use of USD550 million to counter the Chinese Coast Guard?

    @ azlan,

    Thailand is officially designated as a major non-NATO ally by the USA
    https://www.state.gov/major-non-nato-ally-status/

  14. RMN had operated gas turbine engines before on the former KD Rahmat. It was this experience that scared off RMN on gas turbines for the last 30 years. That said the gas turbine used in KD Rahmat were designed in the 60s, of course it was bad.

  15. I stand corrected.

    Thank you marhalim on the reminder about KD Rahmat.

    I forgot about KD Rahmat and its gas turbines. It is said that the main issue with KD Rahmat was really with its combining gearbox (CODOG), rather than the gas turbine engine itself.

  16. ” What would be a better use of USD550 million to counter the Chinese Coast Guard? ”

    I wonder what kind of equipment and capability we could give to Malaysian Coast Guard if the same amount of budget is allocated to them?

    Large OPVs? How many could we get? Half a dozen brand new ships plus half a dozen used ships that we can urgently deploy?

    MSA aircrafts?

    Base and jetty upgrades?

  17. The ADA from my understanding is a small frigate as it is. It’s very fast because of CODAG, 29+ knots. That would make it ‘ ‘lincah’as per what the Defence Minister said.

    Azlan and Hulubalang: Do you think it really needs VLS or RAM block 2 will do? VLS will of course be even more expensive.

  18. @ tom tom,

    The RAM missile, as a close-in system is quite expensive. The Mk-144 Guided Missile Launcher (GML) stores 21 RAM missiles, and each missile costs USD0.9 million. The Aselsan GOKDENIZ 35 mm CIWS is probably a much cheaper option.

    Pakistani ADA class corvettes will have
    16x CAMM-ER
    1x Aselsan GOKDENIZ 35 mm CIWS

    Ukranian ADA class corvettes will have
    15x VL MICA
    1x Aselsan GOKDENIZ 35 mm CIWS

  19. Tom Tom,

    Pros and cons. Mica takes up more space but by virtue of being a vertically launched system it can get into position faster and provides all round coverage. RAM has 21 rounds but it’s in a fixed launcher and the ship will have to maneuver to meet threats coming from certain angles. Ultimately both are point defence weapons which ideally would be employed with other weapons.

    No fixed rule when it comes to designations. What’s a “corvette” in one navy could be a “frigate” in

    cheekuchai,

    How many we can get is also determined by the MMEAs shore support infrastructure; people tend to overlook this. Also, anyone can say this can be bought cheaply for X price and so forth but the MMEA already has a large footprint from the hodgepodge of ships operated and needs to focus
    on commonality. As to the size of the ship it will not be overly large and will be based on our specific range, seakeeping and endurance needs. Unless we intend of policing the Marianas or the Aleutians we don’t need a “large” OPV. There is also the pertinent fact that much of the areas surrounding our reefs are shallow; anything with too deep a draught won’t be suitable.

  20. “..what kind of equipment and capability we could give to Malaysian Coast Guard if the same amount of budget is allocated to them?”

    1. National Maritime surveillance network

    2. Order more NGPC, OPV

    3. Build its own shore installations and move out from rented ones

  21. Marhalim,
    I agree with Azlan, corvette vs frigate is a matter of definition. The ADAs are corvettes by name but very capable and can do all 3, ie AA, ASuW and anti sub too. If we use that definition, which is what I meant, it’s a ‘frigate’. So let’s agree to disagree and call it a very capable heavy corvette…

  22. … – “Is a fully armed corvette the correct and cost effective response to current Malaysian maritime security challenges.

    Ask the right question rather than another conflation. The main purpose of the LMS Batch 2 is not to respond to “current Malaysian maritime security challenges (encroachment and persistent presence of Chinese Coast Guard ships in Malaysian EEZ)” [to quote you]. It’s one of the various roles the type will perform but not the only or main one [note the nuances]. The Defence Minister may make references to the Spratlys but that’s for political domestic consumption given that the Spratlys are an issue of common concern and the government seeks to justify why Batch 2s are being bought [note the politics at play and the fact the Defence Minister has to sell his case .

    … – “What would be a better use of USD550 million to counter the Chinese Coast Guard?”

    – Nothing is being bought for the specific purpose of meeting a specific threat; whether the Chinese Home Guard or the Third Republic’s High Seas Fleet.
    -Many things can be bought but it still doesn’t do away with the fact that the RMN has a need for Batch 2s to perform various roles [not only in the Spratlys] and as a long overdue replacement for certain classes.
    – Nothing is “better” per see even though it’s appealing to claim so. Everything has a place in the large scheme of things and none operates in a vacuum.
    – Even if the Spratlys didn’t exist as a geographical feature the RMN would still have needs for new ships as part of its ongoing modernisation plans.

    On the Rahmat. Years ago I asked 2-3 people who seeved on the Rahmat. There were also major problems with the turbine, including excessive vibration which were never resolved.

    … – ”Stretching it to be bigger will cost more.”

    It’s ”stretching” longer not bigger. ‘Stretching” longer to accommodate a VLS is being looked at; irrespective of what’s been done forthe Ukrainians.

  23. cheekuchai,

    “half a dozen used ships that we can urgently deploy”

    For used ships, we can add more sisterships of KM Pekan, 6 more of the same type still in Japan Coast Guard Service, which is slowly being replaced by more Kunigami-class OPVs (3 more currently in build, 2 in 2023, 1 in 2024).

    As for the KD Rahmat,

    Ironically as this is a topic on Thai ship, the sistership of KD Rahmat, the HTMS Makut Rajakumarn is still operational as a training ship in the Royal Thai Navy. The HTMS Makut Rajakumarn is 4m longer than the KD Rahmat to fit a second gun at the stern.

  24. Wong … – ”the HTMS Makut Rajakumarn is still operational as a training ship in the Royal Thai Navy.”

    And she’s also been a problematic ship over the years.

    Wong … – ”For used ships, we can add more sisterships of KM Pekan”

    Used high mileage ships may be the last thing the MMEA needs; like a hole in the head; because of sustainment costs associated with ships of that age? As it is the MMEA has a huge footprint because of the many different types of ships [most are aged and high mileage] operated; many of which are getting increasingly harder/more intensive maintenance to maintain.

    Tom Tom – ”Azlan, the RAM launcher is not fixed but can rotate 360 degrees.”

    It’s a fixed mount which has a launcher which can traverse 360 degrees if there’s no obstruction as opposed to a VLS which can provide full coverage because there are no obstructions… Same with the Aspide mount on the Laksamanas; it could traverse 360 degrees but there were obstructions.

    Cost is a concern no doubt but amidst all this mention of prices as if this is a P/L sheet; let’s bear in mind that the type of system fitted to the ship might make the difference as to whether the ship’s crew survives …

  25. On the Ada class,

    Seems to me from blurry images of the Ukrainian Ada, VL MICA might be situated near the hangar probably where the RAM was hence no need for stretching or enlargement.

    The Pakistani Babur class (Pakistan’s version of Ada) is larger at 2800 tonnes and some says it cost usd375 million each (ToT cost might be included as well)

    This is just my guess, it could be RMN requested to change to CODAD using 4 diesel engines among other things that RMN requested. Will RMN still try their luck to pick the TACTICOS CMS?

    Dearsan C92 corvette is a possible contender with it being the closest to spec in terms of size and capabilities. Let see in LIMA if any decision has been made yet.

  26. I believed if it’s a Turkish ship it will be with a Turkish CMS. And if the VLS is placed in the rear hangar, it may well be the smaller and cheaper, Sea Ceptor.

  27. “it may well be the smaller and cheaper, Sea Ceptor”

    Thats a possibility also but Ukranians specifically said they will use MICA, well anything can change right now. The Pakistanis using Albatros NG on their Babur which is longer range version of Sea Ceptor so most of the integration already paid by Pakistan maybe.

  28. Luqman,

    Anyhow the ADA/MILGEM is a big stretch for the allocated budget, which is only about USD180 million per ship.

    For the Ukranian ship, the missile chosen is VL MICA. For the pakistanis, Sea Ceptor. Location of RAM on turkish ships will be replaced by gokdeniz CIWS on pakistani and ukranian ships. Location of VLS launchers, not seen yet on ukranian ship during launching, as the picture below on pakistani ships (the “mushroom” farm VLS divided into 2 left and right in front of the superstructure).
    https://www.navalnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Pakistan-MILGEM-corvette-model-displayed-at-DIMDEX-2022-2.jpeg

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