Chinese military exports to other countries


Pendemic

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Registered Member
China’s long running effort to export a single submarine to Thailand seems to have run aground again with a key German supplier refusing to sell their MTU engine, citing the western arms embargo to China arising from the Tian An Men incident. One wonders how did this happened, given that the deal was signed in 2017 and presumably, the Germans had initially agreed to the supply.

Definitely a dent to Sino Thai defence relations.

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ougoah

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China’s long running effort to export a single submarine to Thailand seems to have run aground again with a key German supplier refusing to sell their MTU engine, citing the western arms embargo to China arising from the Tian An Men incident. One wonders how did this happened, given that the deal was signed in 2017 and presumably, the Germans had initially agreed to the supply.

Definitely a dent to Sino Thai defence relations.

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The previous (current) Thai deal had Thailand with the option of choosing between the German engine or the Chinese one (prior to current gen's 034A AIP system). The Chinese one is based on MTU engines. Back when they had the choice, they selected the German one since it seemed like the Germans agree. In this current political landscape in more recent years, Germany has decided now to not allow this sale. Ergo the Thai can cancel this acquisition or select whatever engine the Chinese offer them (unsure whether the Chinese would offer previous gen engines or the newest AIP types).
 

tphuang

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I suspect that Thailand is just looking to cut it's military expenditure so are either looking for a fire sale price with Chinese engines or just giving it up entirely and getting some donated song class subs. Given the massive number of new ships china is building, I would be in favor just donating older equipments to friendly countries.
 

ougoah

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Registered Member
I suspect that Thailand is just looking to cut it's military expenditure so are either looking for a fire sale price with Chinese engines or just giving it up entirely and getting some donated song class subs. Given the massive number of new ships china is building, I would be in favor just donating older equipments to friendly countries.

Thailand has really minimal need for a modern submarine. Even Australia hasn't got a single modern diesel electric sub where the procurement program to replace existing fleet has gone from Soryu AIP electric sub to French SSN convert to electric to future AUKUS SSN program. This is in no small part due to US and UK wishing for Australia to play a greater role in militarily countering China in the western Pacific. Hence the requirements kept changing.

Thailand has no real capable "enemies" at all where a modern AIP electric sub is required and modern weapons fired from it. But they understandably want something because existing submarines are aging. Song class isn't that bad or old for the PLAN to simply give away! Selling, okay... giving away?! no! China isn't that wealthy. While Thailand is certainly quite friendly, it's not a formal Chinese ally. It's not an opsec issue but Song class numbers are needed regardless. In certain capacities, they are at least one more boat in the regional waters that PLAN has even more experience operating that various Yuans and they are just as capable of carrying and launching torpedoes as a much more expensive 039A.
 

ougoah

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Registered Member
Who would Thailand even use subs against? Malaysia? Vietnam? India?

Generally speaking, Vietnam is Thailand's main military adversary given the history. Otherwise most militaries still want to keep a leg above neighbours on principle. So yeah that expands to including Malaysia and Philippines although the real risks of conflict even with Vietnam is low.
 

tphuang

Brigadier
VIP Professional
Registered Member
Thailand has really minimal need for a modern submarine. Even Australia hasn't got a single modern diesel electric sub where the procurement program to replace existing fleet has gone from Soryu AIP electric sub to French SSN convert to electric to future AUKUS SSN program. This is in no small part due to US and UK wishing for Australia to play a greater role in militarily countering China in the western Pacific. Hence the requirements kept changing.

Thailand has no real capable "enemies" at all where a modern AIP electric sub is required and modern weapons fired from it. But they understandably want something because existing submarines are aging. Song class isn't that bad or old for the PLAN to simply give away! Selling, okay... giving away?! no! China isn't that wealthy. While Thailand is certainly quite friendly, it's not a formal Chinese ally. It's not an opsec issue but Song class numbers are needed regardless. In certain capacities, they are at least one more boat in the regional waters that PLAN has even more experience operating that various Yuans and they are just as capable of carrying and launching torpedoes as a much more expensive 039A.

And how can you get Thailand more friendly unless they have more of your weapons and depend on you to provide security? Think about it as gateway drug.

They will build plenty of more capable diesel subs in the coming years. Song is the right combination of capability and service life to gift to friendly nations. If that's too much, them package it with condition that Thailand will need to buy something else off you or pay for training and small upgrade. There are ways to do this.
 

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