The “Blue Strike 2023” naval training exercise between Thailand and China is currently taking place in Chonburi’s Sattahip district in the Gulf of Thailand.
The joint training, scheduled from September 3rd to 10th, aims at exchanging naval knowledge between the two participating countries with an emphasis on providing potential humanitarian assistance, disaster relief situations, and fostering military relations.
The annual drill involved Chinese warships and submarines including the Changcheng submarine, the amphibious dock landing ship Siming Shan, the guided-missile frigate Anyang, and the comprehensive supply ship Chaohu.
Both armies will partake in land and sea training, sniping exercises, maritime search and rescues, and jungle survival in the upper reaches of the Gulf of Thailand and at the Phra Maha Chetsadachao Camp of the Marine Division in Sattahip.
In a related development, Thai Navy Chief Choengchai Chomchoengpaet has confirmed his approval for the replacement of a German-manufactured engine with a Chinese-made CHD620 engine for a Yuan-class S26T submarine that is currently undergoing assembly in China by the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co.
Furthermore, the navy is allocating a budget of 200 million baht for the recovery operation of the sunken HTMS Sukhothai in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Out of this amount, 110 million baht will be drawn from its existing budget, and an additional 90 million baht will be requested from the Budget Bureau to support the mission.