by Max Barry

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Region: Greater Middle East

        Siamese DOD Naval White Paper 2020-2025 

May 12th, BE 2563

In light of the current crisis in Kra and the brinksmanship in the Andaman and the Gulf currently being practiced by the navies of Kra, Indonesia, China, the Socialist People's Republic, the Siamese Directorate Headquarters has recognized that despite a high level of readiness, maintenance, and disclipline exhibited by the sailors and officers of the Siamese Maritime Boundary Service, the quantity of warships maintained by the Service is simply not sufficient. At present, the MBS maintains a fleet of a single light carrier, soon to be suplemented by an ex-American Landing Helicopter Assault Ship, two small amphibious assault ships, three modern frigates, to be supported by a fleet of another three upgraded Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates as a stopgap, and a fleet of 11 offshore patrol vessels and frigates, of which only two are considered modern (post-2000). This stands as the smallest fleet of any respectable South East Asian power, including that of the Thai People's Fleet and the Malaysian Navy. Recent events have transpired in the Gulf and in the Andaman, highlighted in the Defense Report of 2019 to be areas of strategic importance to Siam, in which state actors not entirely friendly to Siamese interests have acted in support or independently using warships stationed in these two aformentioned maritime areas. The Royal Government has therefore deemed it prudent to allocate funds for the expansion and training of additional staff for the Boundary Service, and to acquire modern warships in great enough numbers as to secure both the Western and Eastern seas from enemy incursion, or acts contary to Siamese interests. Initially, the government was on the verge of signing a deal with Korean shipbuilder DSME to procure three-six more of the type of frigate currently making up the backbone of the Siamese Fleet, though it has reconsidered following a series of naval arms sales consisiting of another Daegu-class frigate to the Republic of Kra Navy.

The Royal Government has thus elected to instead seek elsewhere to complete the requirement for six frigates minimum, as well as to expand these six to twelve, to be acquired over a five-year period. Furthermore, the Royal Government will also seek to order a new flagship, in the form of an aircraft carrier, by the close of 2020. It will also strive to acquire additional amphibious, aerial, surface, and submarine capabilities. The following vessel types and aircraft are to be ordered in the 2020-2021 period and acquired and paid off by 2025.

up to fourteen 4000-8000 tonner frigates

three landing platform docks (15,000-25,000 tons)

up to fifteen corvettes (1000-2000 tons)

one new carrier (40,000-70,000 tons)

five diesel-electric attack submarines (1000-3000 tons)

two destroyers (7000-10000 tons) (optional)

30-40 F-35B

25-30 additional utility helicopters

staff increase, to a total of 50,000

This will be in line with the Royal Government's intention to make Siam a second-rate naval power by 2030, able to adequately project power to defend Siamese interests to the region and to further support the efforts of Siam's allies in the naval theater around the globe. Tenders will be open to any and all shipbuilders, though those from the Republic of Korea will be under additional monitoring and security measures to ensure no leak of information to possible belligerents against Siam.