Thailand’s first M58 patrol boat is currently undergoing its final fit-out ahead of its scheduled delivery to the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) later in 2016, IHS Jane’s cited a company official as saying this week.
In December 2013, Thai shipbuilder Marsun Company Limited first announced that it had been awarded the contract to build the 58 meter vessel. While the RTN and Marsun have had an established partnership, the M58 is largest patrol boat the RTN has ever ordered from the company.
Last August, Marsun disclosed that the first M58 patrol boat, Leamsing (561), had been launched at the RTN-owned Thonburi Naval Dockyard in Bangkok.
This week, the company reportedly told IHS Jane’s that work to install the platform’s 76/62 mm Oto Melara main gun had started on the week of July 5 and that tests are currently being run to ensure its integration with the ship’s systems.
According to Marsun, Leamsing is fitted with one 76/62 mm main gun along with one 30 mm cannon and two 12.7 mm machine guns. It has a length of 58 meters, a range of 2,500 nautical miles, a maximum speed of more than 24 knots, and a full-load displacement of 520 tons.
The vessels are usually used for activities such as law enforcement, preventing infiltration in sea or onshore, protecting commercial and fishing boats, and carrying out search and rescue missions.
As I have written previously, in addition to the M58 patrol boats, Thailand also agreed to buy four smaller M21-class patrol boats from Marsun last year (See: “Thailand’s Navy to Get Boost With New Patrol Vessels”).
The confirmation on the vessels came after some uncertainty. Reports had earlier indicated that Marsun was expecting an order for another six M21 patrol vessels, but the order confirmed was for just four of them.