Thailand has added to its orderbook of Airbus Helicopters types with a deal for six VIP transportation-roled EC145 T2 rotorcraft for operation by its army.
Deliveries of the Turbomeca Arriel 2E-engined helicopters – the latest variant of the airframer’s light twin – will commence in 2016.
The Royal Thai Army will utilise the 3.65t EC145 T2s for “official passenger transportation duties”. They have been acquired under its Light Utility Helicopter Type II requirement.
Bangkok already has a number of Airbus Helicopters’ models in operation or on order. Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database records its army as operating a fleet of eight AS550s which entered service in 2014. It also has six US-built UH-72A Lakotas on order, the delivery of which is “imminent”, says the airframer.
In addition, the Royal Thai Navy has a commitment for five EC645 T2s – the militarised variant of the EC145 – which was signed in October 2014.
Meanwhile the country’s air force will this year take delivery of the first of six ordered EC725 helicopters. The first of these, currently bearing the French test registration F-ZWBA, was recently spotted in the paint shop at Airbus Helicopters’ facility at Marseille, France.