The Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC) has revealed a groundbreaking concept for an Amphibious Assault Ship (AAS), measuring 30 meters in length. This ship is designed to accommodate a full Marine Infantry platoon or Tanks, an Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) unit, a platoon of wheeled Amphibious Armored Personnel Carriers (AAPC), a Self-Propelled Artillery (SPH) battery, and utility trucks. Operating at speeds of up to 30 knots and boasting a range of 200 nautical miles, the AAS aims to enhance amphibious operations. The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) presented this Amphibious Assault Ship (AAS) concept as part of a new strategic doctrine during the Naval Quality Award Day (NQA) held at the Royal Thai Marine Corps Headquarters on August 3, 2023.
Among the impressive array of Thai Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles are notable entries. These include the upgraded AAVP7A1 RAM/RS amphibious vehicle, DTI 8X8 Amphibious Armored Personnel Carrier (AAPC), VN16 amphibious fighting vehicle, Panus R600 8×8 amphibious armored personnel carrier and Chaiseri 8×8 amphibious armored vehicle. The Amphibious Assault Vessel (AAS) boasts a compact ship length, not exceeding 30 meters, capable of reaching speeds of up to 30 knots and covering a range of 200 nautical miles. The conceptual model shares features with the Large Landing Craft Utility (LCU) already stationed within the Royal Thai Navy, including vessels such as HTMS Thong Kaew and HTMS Man Nok.
A representative from the Royal Thai Marine Corps elucidated that the AAS amphibious assault ship concept streamlines the process of landing complete units and troops, effectively reducing time spent in the water. The fastest of the Thai Marines’ VN16 vehicles can attain speeds of 25 km/h or 13.5 knots in water, while the AAS outpaces this with a top speed of 30 knots. At present, the Royal Navy deploys Amphibious Vehicles from Landing Platform Docks (LPDs) like HTMS Ang Thong and HTMS Chang. The introduction of the innovative AAS design promises to reshape and elevate the effectiveness of amphibious operations in the future.