HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej (FFG-471) is a stealth-centric fighting frigate of the modern Royal Thai Navy. The vessel was constructed by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering of Busan, South Korea and saw her keel laid down on May 15th, 2016. Launched on January 23rd, 2017, the warship was formally commissioned on January 7th, 2019. She maintains an active presence in the Royal Thai fleet as of this writing (2020).
The ship is the lead-ship of the Bhumibol Adulyadej-class which currently includes just Bhumibol Adulyadej herself and is part of the "High-Performance Frigate Boat Project" initiative pushed by the Royal Thai Navy for modernization of its fleet capabilities. Its design is based largely in the existing, proven Gwanggaeto the Great-class destroyers of the South Korean Navy though with reduced dimensions to better follow frigate conventions - and maintain a smaller, more stealth-like profile.
The Thai ship displaces 3,700 tons under full load and has a running length of 124.1 meters with a beam measuring 14.4 meters and a draught down to 8 meters. This gives the warship the capability to operate relatively close-to-shore while also maintaining qualities that allow for Blue Water operation.
Power is from a combination diesel-gas arrangement which sees 2 x MTU 16V1163 M94 marine diesels of 8,000 horsepower output installed alongside 1 x General Electric LM2500 gas turbines of 29,000 horsepower. The ship can, therefore, more efficiently call upon either installation to accomplish general cruising or high-speed dashing tasks as needed. Maximum speed in ideal conditions reaches 33.3 knots and endurance is out to a useful 4,000 nautical miles.
Aboard is a complement of 141 officers and sailors.
Conventional, projectile-based armament includes 1 x 76mm /62 caliber Super Rapid turreted deck gun, 2 x 30mm DS30M Mark 2 guns, 1 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), and 2 x M2 Browning machine guns. The missile portion of the armament suite is comprised of 1 x 8-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) for up to 32 x RIM-162 "Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile" medium-range Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and/or 8 x RUM-139C Anti-Submarine ROCkets (ASROC). Rounding out the suite are 2 x SEA torpedo launchers giving the frigate a solution for each type of at-sea threat (aerial, surface, undersea).
Installed systems include the "Sea Giraffe" 4A Active, Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) long-range surveillance radar, Wartsila X-band and S-band navigation radars, and twin Saab CEROS 200 series fire control radar. Electronic Warfare (EW) is also managed by way of various Western systems including the Harris ES-3601 Radar-ESM and R7F DDF-255 Communication-ESM.
HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej is given a most-modern design appearance relying primarily on sloping, slab sides with limited protrusions. This includes a largely plain forecastle seating just the turreted deck gun and missile bay directly aft. Aft of this is the low-profile bridge superstructure which contains an enclosed, pyramid-style main mast seating all manner of sensors, communications, and processing systems. The smoke funnels are full-enclosed and of a low-profile design, integrated into the hull superstructure near midships. At the aft-section of the hull is a combination hangar-helipad which supports up to 2 x medium-lift helicopters - the role currently fulfilled by the Sikorsky S-70B "Seahawk" or Sikorsky MH-60S "Knight Hawk" types
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January 2019 - The HTMS Tachin arrived in Thai waters on January 5th, 2019.
January 2019 - HTMS Tachin has been commissioned as HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej (FFG-471) on January 7th, 2019.
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