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HTMS Chakri Naruebet (911)

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HTMS Chakri Naruebet (911) (Thai จักรีนฤเบศร, meaning "In honour of the Chakri Dynasty") is the flagship of the Royal Thai Navy (RTN), and Thailand's first and only aircraft carrier. Based on the Spanish Navy's SPS Principe de Asturias design and constructed by Spanish shipbuilder Bazán, Chakri Naruebet was ordered in 1992, launched in 1996, and commissioned into the RTN in 1997.

The aircraft carrier is designed to operate an air group of V/STOL fighter aircraft and helicopters, and is fitted with a ski-jump. Initial intentions were to operate a mixed air group of Matador V/STOL aircraft and S-70B Seahawk helicopters. However, by 1999, only one Matador was operational, and the entire V/STOL fleet was removed from service in 2006. Although Chakri Naruebet was intended for patrols and force projection in Thai waters, a lack of funding brought on by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis means that the carrier has spent much of her career docked at the Sattahip naval base.

Chakri Naruebet has been deployed on several disaster relief operations, including in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, and in response to separate flooding incidents in late 2010 and early 2011. Outside of disaster relief, the carrier's few other departures from port are for a single training day per month, and transportation of the Royal Family of Thailand, leading to claims by some naval commentators that the ship is merely an oversized royal yacht.

As of 2012, the Chakri Naruebet is in dock undergoing an extensive overhaul and upgrade of its systems.

Specifications[edit]

  • Type: Light Aircraft Carrier
  • Service Period: 1997-Present
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 599.2 feet (182.64 meters) - to be extended to 670 feet (204.22 meters)
    • Beam (Extreme): 100 feet (30.48 meters)
    • Beam (Waterline): 74 feet (22.56 meters)
    • Draught: 20.1 feet (6.13 meters)
    • Displacement: 11,486 tons full load
  • Capacity: 675 soldiers
  • Crew: 601 (62 officers, 393 sailors, 146 aircrew)
  • Cruising Speed: 17.2 knots (31.85 km/h)
  • Maximum Speed: 25.5 knots (47.23 km/h)
  • Propulsion: 2 x GE LM2500 gas turbines providing 22,125 shp (16,499 kW), 2 x Bazán-MTU 16V1163 TB83 diesel engines providing 5,600 bhp (4,200 kW), 2 x shafts with 5-bladed propellers
  • Range: 10,000 nautical miles (18,520 kilometers) at 12 knots (22.22 km/h); 7,150 nautical miles (13,242 kilometers) at 16.5 knots (30.56 km/h)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • Hughes AN/SPS-52C air search radar, E/F band
    • AN/SPS-64 Surface Search Radar
    • Kelvin-Hughes 1007 navigational radars x 2
    • AN/SQS-510 Hull mounted sonar
  • Countermeasures:
    • AN/SLQ-25 towed decoy
    • Mk.32 SBROC x 4
  • Armament
    • 4 x 20mm Phalanx CIWS
    • 1 x 8-cell Mk.41 Vertical Launch System
    • 2 x 0.5-inch machine guns
    • 3 x sextuple Sadral launchers for Mistral surface-to-air missiles
  • Aircraft Carried: 10 x AV-8B+ Matador II, 6 x S-70B Seahawk, 6 x MH-60S Knighthawk
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