Thursday, 29 June 2017

Royal Thai Army to buy four Black Hawk helicopters

Army to buy four Black Hawk helicopters from the US

June 29, 2017 15:40

By The Nation

The Army would procure four Black Hawk helicopters from the United States this year, to be added to its 16 corps squadron, which has 12 so far, General Chalermchai Sittisart said on Thursday.

It would also mark the first military transaction between Thailand and the US since the junta took power after toppling the elected government in 2014. The US has already acknowledged the sale, Chalermchai said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan said earlier that the helicopter purchase might be on the agenda for the talks between PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and US President Donald Trump during Prayut’s visit to the White House.

With sixteen of them altogether, Chalermchai said they would form a complete squadron to help carry a company of soldiers to area of operations.

The Cabinet approved the helicopter procurement around last October-November, the Army chief said.

Thailand expects to buy six helicopters in total, which should be approved under the annual budgets for 2017 to 2019, he said.

The procurement follows the Foreign Military Sales programme between Thailand and the US, he added.

The US Department of Defence programme aims to facilitate sales of US arms, equipment, service and training to foreign governments.

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