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April 8, 2006

Thailand to buy Blackhawk helicopters

Filed under: thailand — admin @ 4:44 pm

Thailand has contracted to buy the latest special operations version of the Blackhawk helicopters from the United States with a bill amounted to 246 million U.S. dollars, the Bangkok Post said on Saturday.

According to papers filed by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency of the United States to the Congress, Thailand has requested up to six of the MH-60s helicopters, made by United Technologies Corp. unit Sikorsky Aircraft, plus 14 engines, spare parts and various support services.

The agency said Thailand requested the sale because of the need to enhance its maritime defense and disaster relief capabilities, highlighted by the tsunami search and rescue operations in December 2004 and January 2005.

The MH-60s, special operations version of the Blackhawk was a major upgrade to the Sirkorsky aircraft.

Among other improvements, it has advanced integrated cockpit, upgraded engines and transmission, forward looking infrared and terrain-following radar, additional internal and external fuel tanks and an external rescue hoist.

The Blackhawk usually has a crew of four: two pilots, a flight engineer and a gunner.

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