Thai Navy new addition, 3,700-ton frigate HTM BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ (FFG-471), was visited by Thailand King and Queen on Oct 16, during anointment ceremony at Sattahip Navy Base, Gulf of Siam.
The stealth-class frigate was built by Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co., under a $480 mil (14.6-billion-baht) contract. Keel was laid in Aug 2013, frigate was launched in 2017, and formally commissioned into service with the Royal Thai Navy in January of 2019.
Capt Samitnat Kunnawat, the frigate’s commanding officer, and the crew, spent over a year in South Korea to familiarise themselves with the frigate. Formerly known as HTM TACHIN, frigate was given the name HTMS BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ at the time when she was under way from Busan to Thailand, via Hong Kong and Da Nang Vietnam.
“We learned about the new name on our way home. We were all overwhelmed. We never thought the ship would be given a name that means so much to Thai people.” said Capt Samitnat Kunnawat. Frigate reached Thailand on Jan 5 2019.
HTMS BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ is the first of two ships to be built for Thailand. New frigates are to replace decommissioned frigates HTMS Phuttha Yodfa Chulalok and HTMS Phuttha Lertla Naphalai.
The new frigate, which is a further developed version of the Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyer, will be the 10th of the 1st Frigate Squadron, Royal Thai Fleet.
Equipped with DW-3000F class stealth technology and built to the standards of both the US military and South Korean navy, the multi-role stealth frigate is intended to protect Thailand’s marine sovereignty, ensure security along marine transport routes and engage in rescue operations. It is expected to support anti-aircraft, anti-surface ship and anti-submarine naval missions. Designed with an anti-submarine capability, the frigate is capable of detecting distant targets with a towed array sonar and attack submarines with torpedoes and long-range weapon systems.
The ship’s defence systems include an advanced harpoon weapon control system, anti-aircraft gun, and close-in weapons system.
However, purchase of second frigate may be postponed, in favor of purchasing a second submarine from China in the 2020 fiscal year, an informed source said to Bangkok Post in Sep this year.
Second submarine purchase is a part of the navy’s 36-billion-baht long-term plan to procure three Yuan-class S26T diesel-electric submarines from China, which has already been approved in principle by the cabinet, Bangkok Post says. Payment for the first submarine is divided into 17 installments over seven years from 2017.
Chinese shipbuilding group CSIC (China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation) held a keel laying ceremony for the Royal Thai Navy’s first S26T submarine. The event took place on September 5, 2019 at a shipyard in Wuhan, China.
Excerpt from official press-release on Royal Anointment Ceremony:
CHON BURI (NNT) – His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana attended an anointment ceremony for HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej, a stealth frigate of the Royal Thai Navy, in Chon Buri province.
At 6 p.m. on Oct 16, Their Majesties the King and Queen proceeded to Chuk Samet Pier at Sattahip Naval Base in Sattahip district, Chon Buri province, to attend the ceremony to anoint HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej.
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn named the new stealth frigate HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej in honor of his father, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great.
Length: 124 m
Width: 14 m
Displacement: 3,700 tons
Propulsion: 2 x Diesel engine MTU 16V1163 M94 8,000 horsepower; 1 x General Electric LM2500 gas turbine 29,000 horsepower.
Speed: 33 kts
Range: 4,000 nautical miles at 18 knots
1 x OTO Melara 76/62 Super Rapid
8 x Advance Harpoon Weapon Control System: RGM/AGM-84L (Block 2) 
8 x cell Mk.41 vertical launch system for 32 x RIM-162 ESSM Block II or Mk.234 Nulka 8 x RUM-139C VL ASROC Or mixed together (In the future, an additional 8 cell Mk.41 VLS can be installed and the SM-2MR missile weapon can be installed.)
1 x 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
2 × 30mm DS30M Mark 2 Automated Small Calibre Gun
1 x .50 caliber (12.7 mm) guns
2 x Mk.32 torpedo tubes with Mark 54 torpedo
Air Wing: 1 x S-70B Seahawk or MH-60S Knight hawk
Surveillance and processing systems:
1 x Sea Giraffe AMD 3D surveillance radar
1 x Saab SEA GIRAFFE AMB Medium-range 3D surveillance radar
3 x Navigation radar
1 x surveillance camera
1 x DSQS-24 Atlas Hull Mounted Sonar
1 x ACTAS Atlas ELEKTRONIK Towed Array Sonar
2 x IFF
1 x ADS-B
Rader Cross Section Reduction
Underwater Radiated Noise Reduction
NBC Protection System
15 x Multi-Function Consoles Saab 9LV Mk4
2 x fire control radar Saab CEROS 200
2 x Continuous Wave Illuminators
1 x Saab EOS 500 Electro Optical Fire Control
2 x Target Designation Sight: Bridge Pointer
Electronic warfare & decoys:
1 x Radar ESM
1 x Communication ESM
6 x Decoy Launchers
Active-off board ECM
Target systems to deceive against anti-ship missile weapons And Target system to deceive CANTO-V torpedo