BANGKOK, -- The USN Navy (USN) and the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) are carrying out a series of drills that includes the "most complex" anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise conducted between the two services to date.
The drills, which are being conducted as part of the annual bilateral naval exercise known as 'Guardian Sea', are being held in the Andaman Sea from 23 to 27 May. The exercise in 2016 involves a USN Los Angeles-class attack submarine, a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol craft and the RTN's sole aircraft carrier, the 182 m HTMS Chakri Naruebet .
Also participating from the USN is the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Stethem , the RTN's two Chinese-made Naresuan-class frigates, HTMS Naresuan and HTMS Taksin , and an unspecified number of S-70B naval helicopters, according to information provided to IHS Jane's on 25 May.
"Guardian Sea provides our navies the opportunity and challenge of detecting and tracking submarines, and to practice procedures related to anti-submarine warfare," said Capt H. B. Le, commodore of the USN's destroyer, Squadron Seven , in a statement on the bilateral drills.
"This year's exercise will be the most complex to date and we look forward to working alongside the Royal Thai Navy ashore and at sea to improve our skills and enhance our interoperability," he added.
Exercise 'Guardian Sea' in 2016 will also feature a shore phase with seminars and exchanges between subject-matter experts from both navies.
The Navies of Thailand and the United States are conducting anti-submarine exercises in the Andaman Sea. Drills are being conducted against the backdrop of submarine proliferation in the Southeast Asian region.