RTN defends 50 million baht drone procurement amid transparency considerations

On Wednesday, the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) defended a virtually 50 million baht drone coaching procurement after critics raised considerations concerning the project’s transparency.
Index , RTN spokesperson, affirmed that the project was above board while elaborating on the Naval Ordnance Department‘s forty nine.8 million baht acquisition of Phoenix Jet Unmanned Aerial Targets from Air Affairs Australia.
Critics questioned why the deal, finalised in 2020, had not been already applied, suggesting the acquisition was postponed to keep the worth under the 50 million baht threshold essential for higher-level authorisation. Admiral Pokkhrong explained that the RTN had a limited finances, which led the department to change existing items under contract phrases, with replacements to be offered later, Bangkok Post reported.
He highlighted that the drone procurement was in accordance with the Defence Ministry regulations, which authorised the RTN chief, somewhat than the division chief, to make the decision. Admiral Pokkhrong also insisted that the department’s committee had rigorously assessed the winning firm, concluding that it was an appropriate alternative.
The contract, signed on March 10, 2020, underwent two revisions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The first revision, made on November 26, 2020, accommodated on-line training, whereas the second, made on December 30, 2020, rescheduled supply.
Admiral Pokkhrong further revealed that one other modification in the contract allowed for the final fee of two.485 million baht to be accomplished with no “setting to work” section. The department requested the naval attaché in Canberra to carry out a manufacturing unit acceptance test because of the continued pandemic, and online coaching occurred from April 19 to April 30 this 12 months..

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