Learning resources on King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)’s ingenuity in ship building

“…Maritime national defense is a direct and the most important duty of the Navy. This duty is a responsibility that depends on knowledgeable and capable officers as well as high capability warships. Warships in active duty are custom built in foreign countries. Thus, the Royal Navy’s ability to build its own patrol boats, to be used in official duty, should be welcomed and encouraged. This marks a step forward for the Royal Thai Navy.”

The above statement is part of the royal speech given by King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) during his keel laying ceremony for Coastal Patrol Craft Tor. 91, on July 12th, 1967 (B.E. 2510) at the Royal Thai Naval Dockyard.

Building the Coastal Patrol Craft Tor. 91 was a starting point of ship building under King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)’s initiative which states “…the Navy should design and build its own coastal motor boats in order to gain knowledge, experience, and expertise in ship building, which will save money rather than ordering them from aboard…”. The Royal Thai Navy responded to King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)’s initiative by assigning the Royal Thai Naval Dockyard to design and build a coastal motor boat, which was later referred to as a Coastal Patrol Craft. The first one was named Tor. 91, signifying that it was the first (1st) boat built in accordance with H.M. King Rama XI’s initiative.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) was extremely interested in building the Tor. 91. He asked overseas institutes and dockyards for their research assistance and inputs regarding the ship design, as well as offered his own suggestions. After she was completely built, he proceeded to test her speed at Ko Si Chang milestone. Additionally, he also commented on stern wake, and offered his feedbacks.

Altogether, the Royal Thai Navy has built 9 of the Tor. 91 - Class Coastal Patrol Crafts, including Tor. 91 – Tor. 99. Later on, the Royal Thai Navy built Tor. 991 – Class Coastal Patrol Crafts based upon King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)’s feedbacks on drawing and performance of the ship to commemorate King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)’s 80th birthday on December 5, 2007 (B.E. 2550).

In 2011 (B.E. 2554), the year of the Celebrations on the Auspicious Occasion of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX)’s 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary 5th December 2011, the Royal Thai Navy built another class of the Coastal Patrol Craft, Tor. 994. The improvements in this newer class included more perfect features using King Rama XI’s feedbacks on Tor. 991 ship design as a frame work.