In a country known for not being able to keep anything a secret, Thailand’s defense establishment was able to keep a warship building program un-detected by the public, until it went public with the news. Janes report: The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) officially commissioned into service its first BAE Systems-designed offshore patrol vessel (OPV) at Mahidol Adulyadej Naval Dockyard on 26 August. HTMS Krabi was built by Bangkok Dock under a technology-transfer agreement signed with BAE Systems in mid-2009. The 90 m OPV is based on the UK Royal Navy‘s four 80 m River-class OPVs (which entered service between 2003 and 2007), and is similar to the three OPVs the UK shipbuilder recently delivered to the Brazilian Navy. Laid down in September 2010 and launched in December 2011, Krabi’s delivery follows the successful completion of sea trials in which it “exceeded expectations”, BAE Systems said. BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London in the United Kingdom and with operations worldwide. It is among the world’s largest defence contractors; it ranked as the third-largest based on applicable 2011 revenues. Its largest operations are in the United Kingdom and United States, where its BAE Systems Inc. subsidiary is one of the six largest suppliers to the US Department of Defense. Other major markets include Australia, India and Saudi Arabia. The company was formed on 30 November 1999 by the £7.7 billion merger of two British companies; Marconi Electronic Systems (MES) – the defence electronics and naval shipbuilding subsidiary of the General Electric Company plc (GEC) – and British Aerospace (BAe) – an aircraft, munitions and naval systems manufacturer.
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