06 November 2015
RTA Bell 212 (photo : thaimisc)
Transworld Aviation (Thailand) is currently upgrading helicopters for the Thai military, with a new agreement to do the same for Royal Thai Police helicopters also imminent.
The company is in line to upgrade up to four Bell 212 rotorcraft for the police, a Transworld official told Shephard at the Defence & Security 2015 exhibition. Final approval for the project budget is expected before the end of the year.
As Royal Thai Police Bell 212s are being used in southern Thailand, which is facing a Muslim-backed insurgency, the upgrade includes armour plates in the rear compartment to protect occupants.
Other aspects to the modernisation are GPS, health and usage monitoring system (HUMS), weather radar (an exact type has not been selected yet), a glass cockpit to support the use of night vision goggles, and overhauled wiring/avionics.
While Transworld Aviation (Thailand) has not upgraded Bell 212s before, the spokesman said the firm can reach back to its Dubai-based parent company for technical assistance and experience. Work on the police aircraft could commence next year once funding is allocated.
Transworld is also in the midst of a programme to upgrade Royal Thai Army Bell UH-1H helicopters. One rotorcraft has already been modernised, lifting it to a so-called UH-1H Plus configuration; it was completed in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Amongst other updates, the upgraded UH-1H Plus helicopter is fitted with a Honeywell T53-L703 engine producing 1,800shp, and new composite rotor blades. Transworld Aviation (Thailand) has received a budget to modernise a total of eight UH-1H helicopters belonging to the Royal Thai Army.
Transworld also maintains Thai military aircraft such as the C-130, F-5 and F-16.