An Offshore Patrol Vessel With Teeth

Royal Thai Navy’s second offshore patrol vessel based on the River class, HTMS Prachuap Khiri Khan (OPV 552) constructed by Bangkok Dock Ltd and poised for induction into service. Note RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles fitted. Photo: http://thaidefense-news.blogspot.com/2019/07/blog-post_31.html

Naval News reports that the Thailand has recently launched a second Krabi class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV). (It appears the ship has completed fitting out.) These are a version of the Royal Navy’s BAE designed River class OPVs. The Royal Navy is still building “Batch II” of this class. Three of the class are also in service with the Brazilian Navy and they may build more.

The Thai vessels are clearly the most heavily armed. While the British Royal Navy ships have at most one 30mm gun and the Brazilian ships have one 30mm and two 25mm guns, the first Thai ship emerged with an Oto Melara 76mm and two 30mm. This second OPV has added Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Four missile cannisters are visible in the photo above and they could probably carry as many as eight missiles.

At 90.5 meters (297′) in length and about 2,000 tons full load, they are a little larger than a WMEC 270, and about half the size of an Offshore Patrol Cutter.

Note: Thailand does have a small coast guard squadron, but these ships are not part of it. Naval history buffs might find this naval battle between Thailand and France in 1941 interesting. 

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