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Pattaya Daily News

31 October 2007 :: 13:10:27 pm 25548

Tourists Disappointed Thai Chakri Naruebet is out of commission for repairs

The Commissioner of the Naval Fleet of Ships has moved the Chakri Naruebet, the offshore Patrol Helicopter, to Mahidol Adulyadet Royal Navy Shipyard for inspection and has provided the Similan to host visitors for the moment.
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Admiral Pravit Srisukwattanam, the Sattahip Naval Fleet of Ships Commissioner, Chonburi and his team visited the Mahidol Adulyadet Royal Navy Shipyard, hosted by Rear Adminral Prasithichai Sriwattana, Mahidol Adulyadet Royal Navy Shipyard Administrator. Admiral Pravit inspected The Chakree Naruebet at the dry-dock for exterior painting and repairs. 

According to Rear Admiral Prasitthichai, the Mahidol Adulyadet Royal Navy Shipyard was constructed to develop the deep sea abilities of the navy. The shipyard ordered big ships from abroad from 1988 to 1997. The Chakri Narubet Offshore Patrol Helicopter Carrier was built in Spain and another ship, The Similan, a large support vessel was constructed in China. As the navy shipyard cannot handle the repair of the Chakri Naruebet, the Chakri Naruebet was moved to the Mahidol Adulyadet Royal Navy Shipyard for repairs.

Admiral Pravit declared that it was navy policy for the Chakri Naruebet to be sent to Mahidol Adulyadet Royal Navy Shipyard instead of a private company or another shipyard abroad for budgetary reasons. The repair process has been well planned with no problems to either the ship or the shipyard. However, there is concern that many tourists were planning to visit the Chakri Naruebet and will be disappointed about not being able to see the ship.


The Navy explained that the Chakri Naruebet requires thorough maintenance procedures every ten years. It is anticipated that the carrier will be out of the shipyard by the end of November, 2007. In the meantime, the Navy has provided the Similan, the big support ship for visitation at Juk-Samed Pier. After repairs are completed on the Chakri Naruebet, the ship will be available for tourists to visit.




Chakri Naruebet Offshore Patrol Helicopter Carrier, Thailand

The Offshore Patrol Helicopter Carrier, HTMS Chakri Naruebet, was constructed for the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) by Spanish shipbuilders Izar (formerly EN Bazan). 

In February 2005, the naval shipbuilding activities of Izar were spun off into a new company, Navantia. 

Under a contract signed in July 1992, the Chakri Naruebet was constructed at Navantia’s El Ferrol yard in Spain and commissioned in March 1997. With a design similar to that of the Spanish carrier Principe de Asturias, it is fitted with a 12° ski jump to enable the use of Harrier-style aircraft. The carrier’s main role is EEZ surveillance and protection and search and rescue, but it could also be used for flagship command and control, air support for the Thai surface fleet or disaster relief. It is based in the Gulf of Thailand. 


The ship is equipped with six multi-mission Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk helicopters, designed for use in an anti-submarine role. These are supplemented with six ex-Spanish Matador AV-8S (Harrier) short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. The Chakri Naruebet’s 174.6m x 27.5m flight deck, which terminates in a 12° ski jump, can accommodate five simultaneous helicopter take-off/landings; the hangar provides space for ten medium helicopters or Harrier-sized aircraft. The carrier’s maximum speed is 26 knots, with a cruise speed of 16 knots. Range is estimated to be 10,000nm at 12 knots. Two spade rudders and four hull stabilisers have been fitted. 


The command and control system is made up of a combat information centre with seven Inisel consoles and an auxiliary console. The combat system is the AN/UYK-43C Lowboy with weapon systems integration carried out by FABA, Spain. 


The ship has provision for the future installation of one eight-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) for the Seasparrow surface-to-air missile. Seasparrow uses semi-active radar guidance, has a range of 14km and a speed of Mach 2.5. The carrier has three MBDA (formerly Matra BAe Dynamics) Sadral six-cell launchers for the Mistral missile. Mistral is a short-range anti-aircraft missile able to intercept in-coming sea-skimming missiles. The Sadral six-cell launcher is a stabilised turret equipped with a television camera which can be fitted with an infrared channel for target acquisition. The Mistral missile is equipped with an infrared homing head supplied by SAGEM and has a 3kg high explosive warhead loaded with tungsten balls. Range is 4km. 

Two 30mm naval guns are yet to be fitted. 


Provision has been made for the future installation of countermeasures systems. 


The ship is equipped with a Raytheon AN/SPS-52C 3-D medium range air search radar, operating at E/F band, Kelvin Hughes navigation and helicopter control radar, Kelvin Hughes I-band navigation radar, MX 1105 Transit/GPS Omega satellite navigation system and an URN 25 Tacan system. The Raytheon AN/SPS-64 I-band surface search radar and Thales Nederland (fomerly Signaal) STIR I/J/K-band fire control radar are not fitted. 

Provision has been made for a hull-mounted, medium frequency, active sonar system. 


Propulsion is by a Combined Diesel or Gas Turbines (CODOG) system which is made up of two pairs of GE LM-2500 gas turbines rated at 44,250hp with a power turbine speed of 3,600rpm and Izar-MTU 16V1163 TB83 diesel TYPEs, each with an output power of 6,437hp at 1,200rpm, which will drive two variable-pitch five-blade propellers. (Thailand’s two Naresuan Class frigates, which may escort the carrier, are also fitted with CODOG systems).

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Tourism News

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