Naval Air: Thai Rules


December 10, 2014:   The Thailand Navy has bought seven helicopters from European firm Airbus. Two of them are EC725s (for search and rescue) and five are EC645s (for transport). The EC725 is an 11 ton aircraft with a useful load of 5.5 tons, a top speed of 324 kilometers an hour and endurance of about five hours. The EC725 cost nearly $50 million each. The 3.6 ton EC645 has a top speed of 260 kilometers an hour and a max range of 660 kilometers. Average endurance per sortie is about two hours. The helicopter has a crew of two and can carry up to eight passengers or about three-quarters of a ton of cargo or weapons. These cost about $10 million each.

Thailand is in need of new military helicopters as most of the existing fleet is decades old. Most of them are American designs dating back to the 1960s. The current military government is trying, as they usually do, to get purchases like this made before new elections are held and civilians are again in charge and less willing to buy new military equipment.





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