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Type 039A Yuan-class - Exports

S-20 Export Variant - Pakistan

Beijing based China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co. (CSOC) unveiled several new designs during IDEX 2013, the international defense exhibition held in the United Arab Emirates. At the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia from March 26 to 30, China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation again displayed its S-20 diesel-engine submarine. A model of that submarine was displayed at NAVDEX at Abu Dhabi in February 2013 for the first time ever. The Chinese staff participating in the exhibition said that S-20 was developed not merely for domestic demand but also for export on international market.

On 21 March 2015, Pakistan announced plans to buy eight new Chinese-made submarines. The submarines are likely to be based of the Type 39B Yuan SSK, of which the export version is designated the S-20. The S-20 displaces about 2,300 tons, but air independent propulsion (AIP) is not standard to the submarine.

While there are clear difference between the S-20 and the Type 039A, the former would appear to be the export variant of the later. S-20s length is 66 meters [versus 73-75 meters for the Yuan], beam is 8 meters, draft is 8.2 meters, surface displacement is 1,850 tons and submerged displacement is 2,300 tons [both a bit less than the Yuan], maximum speed is 18 knots [a bit slower than the Yuan], cruise speed is 16 knots [the same as the Yuan], range is 8,000 nautical miles at 16 knots, endurance is 60 days and crew, 38 versus 58 for the Yuan. It is double hulled with maximum submerging depth of 300 meters. Different from the Type 041 exclusively for Chinese navy, the ship is not equipped with air-independent propulsion (but it may also be fitted with AIP (air-independent propulsion) system if a customer requests).

S-20 submarine is equipped with variable frequency hydrophonic detection device and towed sonar. The weapons fit may varry according to customer requirements but the S20 may accommodate heavy torpedoes and anti-ship missiles from six torpedo tubes and deploy mines and special forces. China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation gives no details about the types of weapon to be installed on S-20 submarine, but it declares that it may provide torpedoes, rocket-propelled torpedoes, anti-torpedo torpedoes, etc.

S-26T Export Variant - Thailand

On May 5, 2017, CSIC and the Royal Thai Navy formally signed an agreement on the S26T submarine project, which was built by the Wuchuan Group. This project is an important progress in the export of conventional submarines in China, and is of great significance for consolidating and deepening friendly cooperation with neighboring countries.

CSIC Heavy Industry Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Co., Ltd. held a groundbreaking ceremony in Wuhan on the 4th. According to reports, the S26T submarine project is an important development of the export of conventional submarines in China. CSIC International Trade Co., Ltd. and the Royal Thai Navy officially signed an agreement on the S26T submarine project on May 5, 2017. According to the project agreement, CSIC Shipyard will design and construct one S26T submarine for the Royal Thai Navy, and the 701th Research Institute of China Shipbuilding Heavy Industry will be designed.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, the Thai Navy Commander Naris Praton, Chairman of China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Hu Wenming, Thai Navy Deputy Commander Lechay Ludi, National Defense Science and Technology Industry Bureau and leaders of military related units, Chairman of Wuchuan Group Yang Zhigang cut the ribbon for the start of construction. Narris Praton and Hu Wenming jointly initiated the cutting instructions. Xu Ziqiu, chairman of China Shipbuilding, signed a steel plate certificate with Naris Praton.

The S26T submarine is a major project in the cooperation of large military equipment between China and Thailand. CSIC attaches great importance to this project, will focus on scientific research and manufacturing superiority, actively organize all relevant units, conscientiously perform compliance and strictly control quality, and ensure that the project will become a quality project and model project. It is hoped that the S26T project cooperation will be a new opportunity to promote cooperation at all levels in various fields and achieve win-win development. The Thai side appreciates the strong strength of CSIC in the field of naval equipment and believes that the S26T submarine project will be a complete success. It is hoped that the two sides will take this cooperation as a new starting point, further deepen cooperation in various fields, and jointly make new contributions to the friendly development of the two countries and the cooperation and exchanges between the two armed forces.

According to several media reports, since the retiring of several Japanese submarines obtained as war compensation after World War II in Thailand, there are currently no submarines in Thailand. In Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and other countries are equipped with submarines. The contrast of underwater power is very unfavorable to Thailand.

In the past 20 years, Thailand has reviewed the issue of purchasing submarines from Sweden, Germany, Russia and China more than once, but has not purchased any submarines: every time there are financial restrictions or political differences in the contract signing process. . It is reported that the proposal to purchase China's "Yuan" class submarines in 2015 was also put on hold for one year for political reasons.

In July 2016, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Ba Yi announced that they would finalize the purchase of three Yuan class submarines from China for US$1 billion. The balance of the first submarine will be settled within 7 years. The remaining two funds are scheduled to be delivered in full within 11 years. This submarine military purchase will become the largest project of the Thai Navy.

CSIC previously announced that it will build a facility in Thailand in 2018. This new facility will be used primarily to help the Royal Thai Navy maintain the S26T submarine. The Royal Thai Navy ordered the first S26T submarine earlier this year for $390 million. The contract includes the training, parts and technical support provided by the Chinese, as well as the construction of related facilities to support the submarine activities.

In July 2016, Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Ba Yi announced that they would finalize the purchase of three Yuan class submarines from China for US$1 billion. The balance of the first submarine will be settled within 7 years. The remaining two funds are scheduled to be delivered in full within 11 years. This submarine military purchase will become the largest project of the Thai Navy. CSIC previously announced that it will build a facility in Thailand in 2018. This new facility will be used primarily to help the Royal Thai Navy maintain the S26T submarine. The Royal Thai Navy ordered the first S26T submarine earlier this year for $390 million. The contract includes the training, parts and technical support provided by the Chinese, as well as the construction of related facilities to support the submarine activities.




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