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Thales receives contract to enhance naval capabilities of Thailand

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Offshore patrol vessel HTMS Krabi of Royal Thai Navy. An internet photo

PARIS (BNS): French firm Thales has been awarded a contract to upgrade the Royal Thai Navy's (RTN) two Bang Rachan Class minehunters, and also provide an integrated combat suite for the RTN's second Krabi Class offshore patrol vessel (OPV).

As the prime contractor for the modernisation of Bang Rachan Class minehunters, Thales will be responsible for the revised vessel design, repairs and modernisation, the procurement of equipment and the platform integration.

The upgraded ships will be equipped with new solutions, including a machinery control system, navigation systems and upgraded communications capabilities among others, the company said.

Thales will work hand in hand with the local industry to manage the works.

The two Bang Rachan Class minehunters -- HTMS Bang Rachan and HTMS Nong Sarai -- were built in the late 80's. The upgrades will extend the ships' operational life by over 15 years.

The French firm will also provide an integrated solution, including the TACTICOS combat management system and an integrated bridge and navigation suite, for the RTN's second Krabi Class OPV.

It will be responsible for all integration activities, including the 76 mm gun, 2x 30mm gun and Harpoon missile system on board the new OPV.

The vessel will be built by the Bangkok Dock and is expected to be commissioned into service by 2018.

Thales has already supplied the combat, navigation and communication suite for HTMS Krabi -- the lead ship of the class inducted in Thai Navy in 2013.

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