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06BANGKOK2624 THE ANDAMAN SEA MARITIME SECURITY INITIATIVE

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“62755”,”5/4/2006 7:41″,”06BANGKOK2624″,

“Embassy Bangkok”,”CONFIDENTIAL”,””,

“This record is a partial extract of the original cable.

The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

“,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BANGKOK 002624

 

SIPDIS

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP, EAP/MLS, EAP/MTS, EAP/RSP AND S/CT

PACOM FOR FPA HUSO

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/26/2016

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PTER, MARR, MASS, TH, POL/MIL

SUBJECT: THAILAND: THE ANDAMAN SEA MARITIME SECURITY

INITIATIVE

 

Classified By: Ambassador Ralph L. Boyce. Reason: 1.4 (a and d)

 

1. (C) Post has proposed and the Royal Thai Supreme

Command and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) have endorsed a U.S. funded

initiative to secure Thai territorial waters in the Andaman

Sea which would also provide radar coverage of the northern

entrance to the Strait of Malacca. The proposed initiative

would provide coverage of the entire western side of

peninsular Thailand down to Sumatra. It would also give the

RTN a coastal interdiction capacity, enhanced communications

and, improved aerial observation radar. Properly

implemented, the initiative could support key U.S. objectives

including Regional Maritime Security, building an enhanced

regional CT capacity, and implementing the Proliferation

Security Initiative. The Embassy and JUSMAGTHAI are working

with PACOM, DSCA and other Washington agencies to implement

the proposal. End Summary.

 

IMPLEMENTING A MARITIME SECURITY CONCEPT

 

2. (C) The Embassy was recently asked by the Department to

submit a proposal as part of the global package of programs

designed to implement Section 1206 on the National Defense

Authorization Act of 2006. JUSMAGTHAI, working with PACOM

and colleagues in the region, has fleshed out a comprehensive

initiative setting up a layered approach to assist the Thai

Armed Forces secure territorial waters from transnational

threats while also providing radar coverage of the northern

shipping lanes feeding into the Strait of Malacca. Once

implemented, Thailand could integrate its maritime security

efforts with those of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the

Philippines to promote cooperative, enhanced maritime

security for the region. Additionally, coverage into the

Andaman Sea would allow the RTN to better engage with the

Indian Navy in its nascent joint search and rescue exercise

program.

 

PART ONE: RADAR COVERAGE

 

3. (C) The heart of the initiative is a high frequency

radar array, possibly based at Phuket or Phang Nga, which

would give radar coverage starting 25 nautical miles off

shore to 200 nautical miles away. An array centered on the

west coast of Thailand could reach from the Thai-Burma border

to Sumatra. This large array would be paired with a series

of x-band radars up and down the coast giving coverage from

the shore to 40 nautical miles offshore. The two systems

would be linked at a Maritime Operations Center — similar to

centers we use in the Caribbean and elsewhere — which would

provide a common operating picture for the entire western

seacoast of the country. Computers at the operations center

could analyze the radar information collected and note

anomalies such as unauthorized boats carrying guns from

Southern Thailand to Aceh, illegal fishing vessels, smugglers

from Burma, or ships suspected of carrying any sort of

contraband. Laptop computers on RTN vessels could also

access the radar information for use in inspecting suspect

vessels or searching for ships in distress. Post\’s proposal

includes reliable pricing data and uses existing technology

proven around the world. Rough order of Magnitude (ROM) cost

is 13 million dollars.

 

PART TWO: COASTAL INTERDICTION CAPABILITY

 

4. (C) The RTN does not have an effective small craft

interdiction capability. Post\’s proposal would provide the

RTN with six Boston Whalers capable of quickly deploying from

a number of coastal locations to inspect suspect ships or

boats as they near shore for off loading. ROM for the boats

and support equipment is 2 million dollars.

 

PART THREE: SECURE COMMUNICATIONS

 

5. (C) Post proposes assisting the Thai set up a secure

voice, image and data link between the Maritime Operations

Center and RTN Headquarters in Bangkok by using the Combined

Enterprise Regional Information Exchange (CENTRIX) system.

CENTRIX is proven, off-the shelf technology that already

connects the U.S. military with a number of friendly nations

throughout the world. CENTRIX is also being used by several

other countries in the region and the Thai system could

conceivably be linked via CENTRIX with neighboring countries.

ROM is 110 thousand dollars.

 

PART FOUR: ENHANCED AERIAL CAPABILITIES

 

6. (C) Post envisions providing three RTN aircraft with

aircraft mounted high resolution large format forward looking

infrared (FLIR) imaging. This will allow Thai aircraft to

conduct detailed aerial searches independently or in

cooperation with the Maritime Operations Center. ROM is 3.5

million dollars.

 

PART FIVE: GROUND SURVEILLANCE RADAR

 

7. (C) The final part of the package is to support a series

of ground sensors which could assist the Royal Thai Army to

intercept cargo that has already been off-loaded near the

Thai border and transshipped over the border. ROM is 600

thousand dollars.

 

COMMENT: REAL BENEFITS FOR THE UNITED STATES AND THAILAND

 

8. (C) This initiative would provide the Thai with modern

tools to curb gun running between the South and Aceh, thwart

smuggling, protect fisheries, and rescue sailors. Used

diplomatically, it has the potential to help the littoral

states create a regional radar system that could cover

thousands of square miles. Half the world\’s oil tankers and

a third of the world\’s waterborne commerce pass through the

Strait — this initiative could be instrumental in protecting

that commerce. In addition, this initiative has the

potential to meet a number of other CT objectives ranging

from monitoring the movements of suspected terrorists to

furthering the Proliferation Security Initiative. End

Comment.

BOYCE

Written by thaicables

July 11, 2011 at 8:07 am

Posted in Confidential, Military

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