The Royal Thai Navy’s third amphibious transport dock ship, commonly known as a landing platform dock (LPD), was ceremoniously launched in China on Wednesday (Jan 4) at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai. Aranya Sirisawat, the wife of Navy Deputy Chief Adm Thaloengsak Sirisawat, carried out the launch.
HTMS Chang is called after Chang Island in Trat province. The ship was purchased as part of the navy’s 20-year plan to have all four of these large amphibious ships operational by 2036 for a variety of purposes including transporting amphibious command and support vessels, supporting submarine operations, participating in marine search and rescue operations, evacuating disaster victims, and supporting marine and portal anti-terrorism operations.
HTMS Chang has a length of 213 meters and a breadth of 28 meters, a maximum displacement of 20,003 tons, and a draft of 17.4 meters. It has a range of 10,000 nautical miles and a maximum speed of 25 knots. While the navy’s intention is to have all four amphibious transport dock ships in service at the same time, the ship was bought to replace its predecessor, also known as HTMS Chang.
The navy has a set system for naming new ships. Amphibious ships must be named after a significant island in the country, whereas frigates must be named after major rivers, such as the Bang Pakong.