25 Agustus 2015
Delivery of first batch of four completed this month; with another two due next year. Fleet will be used for combat search & rescue, national search & rescue flights and troop transportation missions. (photo : Airbus Helicopters)
The Royal Thai Air Force (Kongtap Agard Thai - RTAF) has received into service four Airbus Helicopters EC725 utility helicopters it ordered in 2012, the company announced on 25 August.
The medium-lift helicopters will be used for search-and-rescue and troop transport duties from September. The helicopters will be fielded by the 203 Helicopter Squadron based at Lop Buri in central Thailand.
Once operational, these helicopters will enable the RTAF to begin the retirement process for the 18 Bell UH-1H 'Huey' helicopters that have been in service since 1968.
With delivery of the first batch of four EC725 helicopters now complete, the RTAF will receive next year a further two that were ordered in 2014.
While Airbus Helicopters has now redesignated the EC725 as the H225M as part of a portfolio-wide renaming process, those helicopters that have been delivered to the RTAF retain their former identifier as they were contracted before the new naming process was introduced.
The RTAF's current rotary-winged fleet now comprises four H225Ms; 18 UH-1Hs; two Bell 412s; two 412SPs; one 412HP; seven 412EPs; and three Sikorsky S-92 Super Hawks.
The Royal Thai Army has seven Bell AH-1F Cobra; six Boeing CH-47D Chinook; three Mil Mi-17V5 'Hip'; four Sikorsky MH-60S Knighthawk; 60 UH-1H; 48 Agusta-Bell 212; 10 Bell 206B; and 40 Sikorsky TH-300C helicopters in its inventory.
The Royal Thai Navy fields two Sikorsky MH-60S Knighthawks; three UH-1Hs; four 214STs; two AgustaWestland Super Lynxes; six Sikorsky S-70B Seahawks; four AB212s; and four Sikorsky S-76Bs.