BANGKOK, 5 October 2011 – The cabinet has approved a Ministry of Defence proposal to buy two new Black Hawk helicopters at a total cost of 2.8 billion THB for use in general purposes. Deputy government spokesperson Anusorn Iamsa-ard said the helicopters would be acquired during fiscals 2011-2013 with tied-over budgets.
According to Mr Anusorn, the approved plan was a slight change from the original proposal. The Ministry of Defence wanted three Black Hawks of L model, but their production line has just been closed down, prompting the ministry to opt for two Black Hawks of M model which are more expensive but have more powerful engines and longer operation period.
The new helicopters also possess a digitized control and navigation system.
The Royal Thai Army lost a Black Hawk in July 2011 when the helicopter crashed near the Thai-Myanmar border on a mission to retrieve the bodies of soldiers killed in another helicopter crash in Kaeng Krachan National Park in Suan Pheung District, Phetchaburi Province.