According to South Korean media, Seoul and Bangkok are discussing a second Bhumibol Adulyadej-class frigate.

Accordingly, the Southeast Asian country is considering a new frigate project and intends to start negotiations on defense industry cooperation with South Korea as soon as the pandemic situation improves.

Thailand previously purchased a frigate from South Korea in 2018, currently deployed for field operations, the HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej (FFG-471). The design is a variant of the Republic of Korea Navy’s Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyer design, with additional stealth features. This is the first ship in the High-Performance Frigate Boat Project of the Royal Thai Navy. It is able to perform 3D combat operations on surface, underwater and air.

Bhumibol Adulyadej-class
Bhumibol Adulyadej-class

The frigate has a full load displacement of 3,700 tons, a length of 124.1 m, a beam of 14.4 m, and a draft of 8 m. The hull is different from the Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyer, due to the design of the ship having reduced radar cross-section, and there are many other additional technologies added. The ship has a complement of 141 officers and sailors.

Power is from a combination diesel-gas arrangement, includes 2 x MTU 16V1163 M94 marine diesels of 8,000 horsepower output installed alongside 1 x General Electric LM2500 gas turbines of 29,000 horsepower. The ship can, therefore, more efficiently call upon either installation to accomplish general cruising or high-speed dashing tasks as needed. Maximum speed in ideal conditions reaches 33.3 knots and endurance is out to a useful 4,000 nautical miles.

Regarding weapons, the ship has 1 x 76mm Super Rapid turreted deck gun, 2 x 30mm DS30M Mark 2 guns, 1 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System, and 2 x M2 Browning machine guns. The missile portion of the armament suite is comprised of 1 x 8-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launching System for up to 32 x RIM-162 “Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile” medium-range Surface-to-Air Missiles, and 8 x RUM-139C Anti-Submarine ROCkets (ASROC). Rounding out the suite are 2 x SEA torpedo launchers giving the frigate a solution for each type of at-sea threat.

Sensors and processing systems include the “Sea Giraffe” 4A Active, Electronically-Scanned Array long-range surveillance radar, Wartsila X-band and S-band navigation radars, and twin Saab CEROS 200 series fire control radar. Electronic Warfare (EW) is also managed by way of various Western systems including the Harris ES-3601 Radar-ESM and R7F DDF-255 Communication-ESM.

Although the Bhumibol Adulyadej class currently has only one ship, it is certainly an impressive addition to the Royal Thai Navy, contributing to stability in the region.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here