The Royal Thai Army’s helicopter fleet has increased with the acquisition of six light-utility EC145 T2 aircraft from Airbus Helicopters. They are the newest and most powerful model in Airbus Helicopters’ proven EC145 light twin-engine helicopter family.
This order by the Royal Thai Army is for six EC145 T2s with a VIP installation. Under the Light Utility Helicopter Type II requirement, they will be deployed principally on official passenger transport duties, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2016.
“By acquiring the EC145 T2, the Royal Thai Army again demonstrates its confidence in Airbus Helicopters’ products and services, following the successful entry into service of the AS550 C3e Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters in 2014 and the imminent delivery of the UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters from the United States,” said Philippe Monteux, Airbus Helicopters’ Head of Region South East Asia & Pacific.
The EC145 T2 features a modern digital cockpit and a 4-axis autopilot. With a maximum take-off weight of 3.65 tons, the helicopter is powered by Turbomeca Arriel 2E powerplants equipped with dual-channel full authority digital engine controls (FADEC). Operational safety is enhanced by Airbus Helicopters’ Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor, particularly for landings and takeoffs in confined landing sites, as well as during loading/unloading on the ground while the rotor is turning.
The UH-72A is a version of the EC145 type produced by Airbus Helicopters’ plant in Columbus, Mississippi for the United States Army and Navy. Six units were acquired by the Royal Thai Army in December 2013 from the United States Army under the Foreign Military Sales program.