BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s navy has inaugurated a state-of-the-art headquarters and training center for its submarine squadron, even though it lacks any vessels to command.

The squadron and its facilities, including a submarine simulator from Germany, was established Monday at an existing naval base in Sattahip, east of Bangkok on the Gulf of Thailand.

The navy, which has had no submarines in its fleet since 1951, has been seeking for several years to acquire some, but has faced budgetary restraints. It says the new facilities are needed to be prepared for the future.

Recent maritime territorial disputes have caused several Asian nations to consider acquiring or expanding submarine fleets.

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