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The Royal Thai Navy or RTN (Thai: กองทัพเรือไทย; RTGSKong Thap Ruea Thai) is the naval force of Thailand and part of the Royal Thai Armed Forces. It was established in the late-19th century. Similar to the organisational structure of the United States, the Royal Thai Navy includes the naval fleet and the Royal Thai Marine Corps. The Royal Thai Navy operates out of Sattahip Naval Base in Sattahip Bay. Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country that operates an aircraft carrier, though it is used as a pure helicopter carrier with the retirement of the Harrier fighter wing.[1][2] Thailand was the second Asian nation to acquire submarines, following Japan, but has had no submarines since 1950.

Royal Thai Navy
Emblem of the Royal Thai Navy.svg
Emblem of the Royal Thai Navy
Active 8 April 1887 (130 years)
Country Thailand
Allegiance HM The King of Thailand
Type Navy
Size 71,000 Active personnel
(53,000 Navy personnel)
(18,000 Marine Infantry)
Part of Royal Thai Armed Forces
Garrison/HQ Sattahip, Chonburi (Main base)
Bangkok Noi, Bangkok (Headquarters)
Nickname(s) ราชนาวีไทย Rajanavee Thai
Motto(s) ร่วมเครือนาวี จักยลปฐพีไพศาล (Join the Navy to see the world)
Colours Navy blue
March เพลงราชนาวี
(Navy March)
(Dok Pradu Song)
Anniversaries 20 November 1906
(Royal Thai Navy Day)
Engagements Franco-Siamese War
World War I
French-Thai War (Battle of Koh Chang)
World War II
Korean War
Palace Rebellion
Manhattan Rebellion
Vietnam War
Piracy in the Strait of Malacca
Piracy in Somalia
2015 Rohingya refugee crisis
Commander-in-chief Admiral Na Arreenich
King Pin-Klao
Prince of Chumphon
Sangad Chaloryu
Royal Thai Navy Flag Royal Thai Navy Flag.svg
Naval Jack and Unit Colour Naval Jack of Thailand.svg
Naval Ensign Naval Ensign of Thailand.svg
Aircraft marking Royal Thai Navy Aircraft Marking.svg

The United States Navy and Royal Thai Navy conduct the annual joint operation Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT). CARAT is an annual series of bilateral maritime training exercises of the US Navy and the armed forces of Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and Philippines.




Franco-Siamese WarEdit

World War IEdit

After World War IEdit

HTMS Matchanu and Wirun at Kobe Port
HTMS Thonburi

French-Thai WarEdit

World War IIEdit

Vietnam WarEdit

In support of Vietnam during the Vietnam War, two Royal Thai Navy vessels undertook operations in South Vietnam.[additional citation(s) needed][3]


The navy's combat forces included the Royal Fleet and the Royal Thai Marine Corps. The 130 vessels of the Royal Fleet included frigates equipped with surface-to-air missiles, fast attack craft armed with surface-to-surface missiles, large coastal patrol craft, coastal minelayers, coastal minesweepers, landing craft, and training ships.

The mission space of the Thailand navy includes the Thai Gulf and the Indian Ocean, which are separated by land, as well as rivers. Naval affairs were directed by the country's most senior admiral from his Bangkok headquarters. The naval commander in chief was supported by staff groups that planned and administered such activities as logistics, education and training, and various special services. The headquarters general staff functioned like those of corresponding staffs in the army and air force command structures.

RTN response to criticismEdit

A 20 April 2014 Bangkok Post editorial said that a major news agency won the Pulitzer Prize for their work exposing Thailand's involvement in the trafficking of Myanmar's oppressed Rohingya minority through what it called a "tropical gulag". The next day, two journalists running a small, independent website in Phuket were formally indicted for criminally defaming the Royal Thai Navy by quoting part of the award-winning report. "Phuketwan editor Alan Morison and journalist Chutima Sidasathian, who had played a substantial role in the Reuters investigation, had to worry about the threat of seven years in jail and whether they would be granted bail".[4] The lawsuit was not dropped.[5] Phuketwan spent years defending itself and eventually won in 2015 but had to close down because its funds were exhausted.[6]

Command and controlEdit

The Royal Thai Navy is commanded by the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy, currently Admiral Surasak Rounroengrom, who was appointed in 2011. The Royal Thai Navy headquarters is in Bangkok.

  • Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Navy: Admiral Na Arreenich
  • Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Navy: Admiral Narongpol Nabangchang
  • President, Royal Thai Navy Advisory Group: Admiral Chumphol Wongwakin
  • Assistant Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Navy: Admiral Graivut Vattanatham
  • Chief of Staff, Royal Thai Navy: Admiral Panlop Tamisanon
  • Commander-in-Chief, Royal Thai Fleet: Admiral Naris Pratoomsuwan

List of commandersEdit


Naval Area CommandsEdit

Navy Cadet Regiment, King's Guards of Royal Thai Navy in the royal funeral procession of Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda

The Royal Thai Navy operates three naval area commands:


Royal Thai Navy Riverine Sailors and U.S. Navy Sailors from Riverine Squadron ONE aboard Thai riverine patrol boats during Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand 2010

Royal Thai Naval Air and Coastal Defence CommandEdit

Coastal Defence Command was formed in 1992 under the control of the Royal Fleet Headquarters, with one coastal defence regiment (equipped with 155 mm artillery) and one air defence regiment (equipped with 40 mm and 37 mm anti-aircraft guns as well as HN-5A MANPADs). Personnel were initially drawn from the Royal Thai Marine Corps, but are now being recruited directly. The First Coastal Defence Regiment is based near the Marine Corps facility at Sattahip. The First Air Defence Regiment was near the Naval Air Wing at Utapao. Coastal Defence Command was greatly expanded in 1992, following the government's decision in 1988 to charge the RTN with the responsibility of defending the entire eastern seaboard and Southern Seaboard Development Project. The Second Air Defence Regiment, based at Songkhla, was then formed the following year. Some analysts believe that this element will eventually grow to a strength of up to 15,000 personnel.[7] They are interested in S-300 or S-400 SAMs to upgrade their air defence system.

District forcesEdit

Sattahip Naval Base
Bangkok Naval Base
Phangnga Naval Base
Songkhla Naval Base
Phuket Naval Base
Samui Naval Base
Trat Naval Base
Thai Navy Bases District Forces

Naval AviationEdit

The RTN has two air wings, operating 40 fixed-wing aircraft and 30 helicopters from U-Tapao, Songkhla and Phuket. The First Royal Thai Navy wing has four squadrons; the Second Royal Thai Navy wing has three squadrons.

Other forcesEdit

The Royal Thai Navy also consists of a Royal Thai Marine Corps division, an Air and Coastal Defence Division, Underwater Demolition Assault Unit and a Riverine Patrol Regiment.

Rank structureEdit

OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 Cadet Officer
จอมพลเรือ พลเรือเอก พลเรือโท พลเรือตรี พลเรือจัตวา1 นาวาเอก นาวาโท นาวาตรี เรือเอก เรือโท เรือตรี นักเรียนนายเรือ
Admiral of the Fleet Admiral Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Commodore or Rear Admiral (lower half)1 Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Lieutenant
Junior Grade
Sub Lieutenant Midshipman
OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-1
              No insignia
พันจ่าเอกพิเศษ พันจ่าเอก พันจ่าโท พันจ่าตรี จ่าเอก จ่าโท จ่าตรี พลทหาร
Chief Petty
Senior Chief Petty
Chief Petty
Petty Officer
1st Class
Petty Officer
2nd Class
Petty Officer
3rd Class
Seaman Seaman apprentice



Class Photo Origin Hull No./Commissioned Displacement Notes
Aircraft carrier (1 in service)
Chakri Naruebet
Empresa Nacional Bazán
HTMS Chakri Naruebet/1997 11,486 tonnes Armament:
Type S26T Class
(3) On Surface: 2,725 tonnes
3,600 tonnes
The first submarine would be bought for 13 billion baht between fiscal years 2017-2021. The second and third submarines would be purchased during the remainder of the 11-year period[8][9]
Frigate (6 in service+(2) u/c)
DW 3000F class[10]   South Korea
HTMS Tachin
3,700 tonnes Multi-role stealth frigate.
(Under construction.Delivery in 2018)


Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard

(Technology transfer)[11]

HTMS Prasae
Type 025T class
  China CSSC (Mod)
  Thailand (Design)
HTMS Naresuan
HTMS Taksin
2,985 tonnes Guided missile frigate.


Type 053HT class
  China CSSC HTMS Chao Phraya
HTMS Bangpakong
HTMS Kraburi
HTMS Saiburi
1,924 tonnes Guided missile frigate.


Corvettes (7 in service)
Ratanakosin class
  United States
Tacoma Boat
FS 441/1986
FS 442/1987
960 tonnes Guided missile corvette.


Tapi class   United States
American Shipbuilding
FF 431/1971
FF 432/1974
1,191 tonnes Anti-submarine warfare corvette.


Khamronsin class   Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard and Italthai Marine
FS 531/1992
FS 532/1992
FS 533/1992
630 tonnes Anti-submarine warfare corvette.


Patrol vessels (22 in service)
River-class (OPV)
  United Kingdom
Vosper Thornycroft
Bangkok Dock
HTMS Krabi
HTMS Trang
1,969 tonnes Armament:
Pattani class (OPV)   China CSSC (Build)
  Thailand (Design)
HTMS Pattani
HTMS Naratiwat
1,460 tonnes Armament:
Makut Rajakumarn class   United Kingdom
Yarrow Shipbuilders
FF 433/1973 1,900 tonnes Currently used as Offshore Patrol Vessel and/or training role.


Hua Hin class
Asian Marine Services and Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard
  China (Design)
PC 541/2001
PC 542/2001
PC 543/2001
590 tonnes China design to Built in Thailand.


M58 class   Thailand
Marsun Shipbuilding
HTMS Laemsing/2016 520 tonnes This new class of Patrol Boat is expected to replace Hua hin class ships: HTMS Huahin (541), HTMS Klang (542) and HTMS Sriracha (543).[13] According to the Navy’s Strategic Plan 2008 – 2017 Royal Thai Navy will add this series with another three boat.


PSMM Mk.5 Class   Thailand
Italthai Marine
PC 521/1983
PC 522/1984
PC 523/1985
PC 524/1985
PC 525/1985
PC 526/1986
300 tonnes Armament:
Tor 991 class   Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard and Marsun Shipbuilding
186 tonnes Armament:
Tor 994 class   Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard and Marsun Shipbuilding
186 tonnes Armament:
M36 class   Thailand
Marsun Shipbuilding
150 tonnes Armament:
M21 class   Thailand
Marsun Shipbuilding
43 tonnes Armament:
Fast Attack Craft (9 in service)
BMB-230 Class   Italy
Cantiere Navale Breda
FAC 321/1979
FAC 322/1979
FAC 323/1979
270 tonnes


FPB-45 Class   Singapore
ST Marine
FAC 311/1976
FAC 312/1976
FAC 313/1977
263 tonnes Similar to Singapore Navy's Seawolf-class missile gunboats (a design based on the West Germany's Lürssen TNC45 FAC[15]).


MV400 Class   Italy
Cantiere Navale Breda
FAC 331/1983
FAC 332/1983
FAC 333/1983
450 tonnes same as Rajcharit class except 76/62 gun in the y position replacing of SSM


Training Ship/Salute Ship (1 in service)
Cannon class DE   United States
Western Pipe and Steel Company
HTMS Pin Klao/1959 1,620 tonnes Former USS Hemminger (DE-746). Currently used as salute ship.


Amphibious warfare ship (3 in service)
Endurance class
ST Marine
HTMS Angthong/2012 7,600 tonnes Armament:
Normed PS 700 class
Italthai Marine and Bangkok Dock
LST 721/1987
LST 722/1988
4,520 tonnes Armament:
Landing Craft Utility (9 in service)
Marsun M55 class   Thailand
Marsun Shipbuilding
LCU 784/2010
LCU 785/2010
550 tonnes Armament:
Thongkaeo class   Thailand
Bangkok Dock
LCU 771/1982
LCU 772/1983
LCU 773/1983
LCU 774/1983
396 tonnes Armament:
Mannok class
Silkline International - Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC) Joint Venture
LCU 781/?
LCU 782/?
LCU 783/?
550 tonnes Armament:
Replenishment ships (9 in service)
HTMS Similan   China
AOR 871/1996 22,000 tonnes
Jula class(ll)   Singapore
Singmarine Shipyard
YO 831/1980 1,661 tonnes
YOG-5 Class   United States
Albina Engine and Machine Works
YO 832/1947 1,235 tonnes
Prong class   Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard
YO 833/? 412 tonnes
Proet class   Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard
YO 834/1969
YO 835/1970
410 tonnes
Matra class   Thailand
Marsun Shipbuilding
YO ???/2014 500 tonnes
Chuang class
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard
YO 841/1966
YO 842/1974
360 tonnes
Minesweeper ships (7 in service)
MSC-289 class   United States
Dorchester Shipbuilding and Peterson Builders
MSC 612/1965
MSC 613/1965
384 tonnes
HTMS Thalang   Thailand
Bangkok Dock
MCS 621/1980 1,095 tonnes
M48 class   Germany
Friedrich Lurssen Werft
MCS 631/1987
MCS 632/1987
444 tonnes
Gaeta class   Italy
Intermarine SpA
MCS 633/1999
MCS 634/2000
697 tonnes
Research and survey vessels (3 in service)
HTMS Chan   Germany
Friedrich Lurssen Werft
AGOR 811/1961 996 tonnes
HTMS Sok   Thailand
Bangkok Dock
AGOR 812/1982 1,526 tonnes
HTMS Paruehasabordee   Thailand
Unithai Shipbuilding and Engineering - Shelde Naval Shipbuilding Joint Venture
AGOR 813/2008 1,636 tonnes
Tugboats (6 in service)
Rin class   Singapore
Singmarine Shipyard
YTM 853/1981
YTM 854/1981
421 tonnes
Samsan class   Thailand
Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard
YTM 855/1994
YTM 856/1994
385 tonnes
Klungbadan class   Canada
Canadian Bridge
YTL 851/1954
YTL 852/1954
80 tonnes

Future fleetEdit

Vessel Origin Type Class Displacement Status Notes
Type S26T Class   China
Submarine Yuan-class modified On Surface: 2,725 tonnes
Dive: 3,600 tonnes
HTMS Tachin (FFG 471)   South Korea
Multi-role stealth frigate DW 3000F class 3,700 tonnes Launched Delivery in 2018
HTMS Prasae (FFG 472)   South Korea
Multi-role stealth frigate DW 3000F class 3,700 tonnes Order Delivery in 2020
Patrol vessel
HTMS Trang (OPV-552)   Thailand Offshore patrol vessel River class 1,900 tonnes Order Delivery in 2018[16]


Aircraft Photo Origin Type Quantity Notes
Dornier Do 228
  Germany Maritime patrol aircraft 7 Also used in Royal Rain Project.
Fokker F.27-200/400
  Netherlands Military transport, Maritime Attacker, ASW 2 Mk400
3 Mk200
Equipped with Harpoon.
Lockheed Corporation P-3T/UP-3T
  United States Maritime patrol aircraft, ASW 3 Version for Royal Thai Navy.
Canadair CL-215
  Canada SAR, Firefighting 2
NAX Seaplane   Thailand Maritime patrol aircraft 2
GAF N.24A Normad
  Australia Military transport 5 Another airframe is in use for spares recovery.
Bell 212
  United States Military transport 6
Bell 214ST
  United States VIP, transport 5
Sikorsky S-76B
  United States SAR, transport 5
Sikorsky SH-70B Seahawk
  United States ASW 6 HTMS Chakri Naruebet Flying Unit.
Sikorsky MH-60S Knighthawk
  United States Military transport 2 (+4) HTMS Chakri Naruebet Flying Unit.
AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300
  United Kingdom Anti Ship 2
Airbus H145M
  France Military transport 5

Procurement plansEdit

  • Type 039A submarine:[17][18] The navy has sought budget approval to buy three Chinese-made Yuan class S26T submarines for 36 billion baht (US$1 billion). The S26T submarines are diesel-powered with a displacement of 2,400-3,000 tonnes.[19] The cabinet approved one submarine purchase on 18 April 2017 with a budget of 13.5 billion baht (US$393 million), including weapons systems, spare parts and technology transfer.[20]

In January 2017 the Thai National Legislative Assembly, the country's "rubber-stamp parliament", approved the expenditure of 13.5 billion baht (US$383 million) to buy one Chinese S26T submarine, a derivative of China's Yuan Class Type 039 A.[21][2] It is projected to be the first of a three-boat, US$1 billion acquisition. The sub is expected to be delivered in about 2023. The Thai navy's submarine squadron has trained in Germany and South Korea but has no submarines—its last sub was decommissioned in 1950. It does have a submarine headquarters: in July 2014 a US$17.3 million submarine headquarters and training center was opened at the Thai Navy's largest port in Sattahip. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has explained that Thailand will buy submarines, "not for battle, but so that others will be in awe of us."[22] Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon said that "...growing territorial threats and an increasing number of maritime missions has prompted the navy to strengthen its submarine units."[23] There are plans to base one submarine at Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard in Sattahip District, Chonburi, one at a submarine dockyard off the Sattahip coastline, and one on the Andaman coast, in either Krabi or Phang Nga.[23]

Humanitarian relief operationsEdit

Thailand worked with more than 60 nations in providing Humanitarian response to the 2015 Nepal earthquake. Operation Sahayogi Haat ("helping hands") was a US military relief operation delivering humanitarian assistance to victims of the April and May 2015 Nepal earthquakes. The Royal Thai Navy materially assisted relief efforts.[24] A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the region of Kathmandu in Nepal on 25 April 2015. Operation Sahayogi Haat (Nepali: "helping hands")[A] for humanitarian relief operations was put into action by Joint Task Force 505 on 6 May.[28]

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ "US military earthquake relief efforts in Nepal led by Joint Task Force 505 have been named “Operation Sahayogi Haat,” which means “Helping Hand” in Nepali, by US Pacific Command based out of Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii."[25][26][27]


  1. ^ "End of a Legend - Harrier Farewell". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Navy's 'toys' indefensible" (Editorial). Bangkok Post. 20 February 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Cold War Southeast Asia. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Navy must end its attack on reporters". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Navy to extend lawsuit to Reuters". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "BBC journalist faces five years jail for Thailand reporting". Digital Journal. Agence-France Presse (AFP). 23 February 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  7. ^ John Pike. "Air and Coastal Defense Command". Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  8. ^ Wassana, Nanuam. "Navy submits B36bn plan to buy subs". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 1 Jul 2016. 
  9. ^ "Submarine buy wins 'secret' nod". 
  10. ^ Nanuam, Wassana (21 April 2013). "S Korea to build Thai navy frigate". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Center, Korea Marine Equipment Global Service. "News&Event | Community | KOMEC-Korea Marine Equipment Global Service Center". Retrieved 2017-04-11. 
  12. ^ "Navy to build B5.5bn missile-equipped patrol vessel". Bangkok Post. 29 Feb 2016. 
  13. ^ "Thai Shipyard Marsun to supply M58 Patrol Gun Boat for Royal Thai Navy". November 10, 2013. 
  14. ^ "M58 Patrol Gun Boat". Marsun Shipbuilding. 2 July 2016. 
  15. ^ "Naval vessels as built by Lurssen GmbH". Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Thai Navy May Build Second Patrol Boat Under BAE License". Defense News. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  17. ^ "Royal Thai Navy announces plan to buy Chinese Yuan-class submarines". IHS Jane's 360. 3 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Wassana, Nanuam. "Navy submits B36bn plan to buy subs". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 1 Jul 2016. 
  19. ^ Mark, Eugene (20 July 2016). "Does Thailand Really Need Submarines?". The Diplomat. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  20. ^ "Thailand approves $393-mln purchase of Chinese submarines". Reuters. 24 April 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  21. ^ Voytenko, Mikhail (19 December 2017). "Chinese AIP submarines not the best choice". Maritime Bulletin. Retrieved 20 December 2017. 
  22. ^ Macan-Markar, Marwaan (2 February 2017). "Thailand and China: Brothers in arms". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 2 February 2017. 
  23. ^ a b Nanuam, Wassana (7 March 2017). "Navy wants 3 dockyards for submarines". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 7 March 2017. 
  24. ^ Martinez, Staff Sgt. Alexander (29 May 2015). "Thai and USA forces combine to help earthquake victims in Nepal". Pattaya Mail. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  25. ^ "Nepal Earthquake Relief Effort Named 'Operation Sahayogi Haat'" (News Release). Kathmandu, Nepal: Joint Task Force 505. 10 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  26. ^ "Operation Sahayogi Haat / Helping Hand". Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  27. ^ "Nepal Earthquake Relief Effort Named 'Operation Sahayogi Haat'". Nepal Foreign Affairs. 10 May 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015. 
  28. ^ "Joint Task Force Activates for Nepal Earthquake Relief". Marine Corps Forces Pacific News Release. US Department of Defense. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress document: Barbara Leitch LePoer, ed. (September 1987). "Thailand: A country study". Federal Research Division. 

External linksEdit