20 January 2017
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) is preparing for the arrival of its first S26T submarine from China through the use of a Submarine Command Team Trainer (SCTT) simulator, which replicates a combat information center (CIC) and submarine environment.
In 2012 the RTN bought the SCTT simulator from Rheinmetall. Delivered in 2014 and now operating at Sattahip Naval Base, it simulates generic systems and capabilities of diesel-electric submarines, rather than a specific individual class.
The SCTT is flexible; it is scalable from operator training in individual sensors and systems to command team training for operational units. Thailand’s system replicates every important component of a submarine’s CIC, including combat management systems, heavy torpedoes, missiles, sonar systems and non-acoustic sensors (e.g. radar, data links, electronic support measures and periscope).
Thailand will receive three S26T submarines from China, the RTN’s first since four 470t Mitsubishi submarines were bought from Japan in 1938. Last year, the RTN selected the S26T ahead of offers from Germany, South Korea and Sweden.
The RTN is now in the process of buying one submarine with a budget of $385 million as it creates a three-dimensional navy to more effectively maintain maritime security.
The Royal Thai Submarine Squadron was re-established in 2011 amidst plans to acquire new submarines. Thailand was responding to other southeast Asian nations such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam that were all acquiring submarines.
The SCTT simulator can integrate with an anti-submarine simulator also in service with the RTN.
The navy sent submarine personnel to learn from relevant technologies in Germany, in addition sailors completed the International Diesel Submarine course in South Korea to learn the capabilities and tactics of modern diesel-electric submarines.