Thailand to Buy Additional Airbus Helicopters UH-72A Lakota

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:17 PM, January 13, 2015
  • 3206

The Royal Thai Army is eyeing to acquire additional UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopter as part of its modernization plans in 2016, Bangkok Post quoted Thai Army Chief Udomdej Sitabutr as saying on January 10.

The announcement did not specify as to how many of the aircraft the army was considering to buy. Thailand had bought six UH-72A helicopters from Airbus March last year at an estimated cost of $34 million.

The Royal Thai Army’s existing helicopter fleet includes 40 Bell 212 choppers and nearly the same number of UH-1 Huey aircraft.

The UH-72A Lakota is primarily used for search and rescue, medical evacuations, homeland security, VIP transport and disaster response and relief, as well as combat flight and pilot sustainment training missions.

With the recent crashes of the army's Bell 212 helicopters, the army is accelerating its push to upgrade its fleet, which consists of 40 212s and about the same number of Bell UH-1 "Huey" aircraft dating back to the Vietnam War. The army budget for the next fiscal year will mainly be used to bring in new helicopters and train new pilots, Gen Udomdej was quoted as saying by the daily.

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