Royal Thai Navy is pushing to pay yearly installments for the two diesel-powered Yuan Class S26T submarines it is intending to purchase from China.
Last year, the Thai Navy’s budget was slashed by $126.15 million from the initially allocated $631 million, or 33% of the annual fund, due to the pandemic.
The S26T submarines were expected to cost around $684.7 million, with a payment plan spread over seven-year beginning this October. The purchase is part of the larger $6.08 billion defense budget being considered by a House scrutiny panel.
The first payment was supposed to have been approved last year. It was postponed so the money could be diverted to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The Navy is now back at the House to defend the spending again.