Today’s fleet of Royal Thai Army helicopter are consists of TH-300, Bell 206, UH-1H, Bell 212, Bell 412, CH-47D, and UH-60L.
There once was a plan to replace UH-1H “Huey” by 33 Black Hawk, but the budget crisis from 1997 Asian Financial Crisis forced RTA to cut the number into only 7.
Base on the original requirement in 2006, there is a requirment for 9 utility helicopter, with the helicopter required will be the same standard with Black Hawk.
Annex 30 (Utility/Cargo Helicopter): The helicopter must have versatile usage, it can be used as a transport, combat re-supply and medical evacuation helicopter for RTA general support. One helicopter must be able to transport about one infantry squad with all necessary individual field equipment. It must be the same standard as the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, which is currently in service in the RTA, or better.
….. yes, the same standard with Black Hawk, so they buying more of the type.
DSCA release the notification to congress that government of Thailand request the sale of three UH-60L Black Hawk.
This is only one-third of the requirement. I believe they want to split the one large order into the small multiple order in order to lower the budget pressure.
This will join with the existing Black Hawk fleet.
RTA also seeking for a new training helicopter to replace its aging fleet of around 30 TH-300s with Eurocopter EC-120 are the leading contender.
They are hoping to buy the first batch of 12 training helicopter soon.
And in next year, Royal Thai Navy will taken delivery of the first batch of two MH-60S out of the requirement of six unit and Royal Thai Air Force will taken delivery of three S-92 for VVIP flight. The military version of S-92, HH-92, is also believe to replace a fleet of UH-1H in CSAR role.
Bell Helicopter dominates Thai Armed Force’s helicopter fleet for more than 40 years but now look like Sikorsky is taking over them.