AIRBUS HELICOPTERS has sealed contracts for two of its helicopter range with the Thai Navy and Air Force. Announcing the deals on October 22, the company said that it has received an order from the Royal Thai Navy for five light utility EC645 T2s to be deployed on transport duties and other missions, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2016. The contract was signed on September 2. They will join 2 Wing/202 Squadron at U-Tapao, which currently flies the Bell 212, and be used for transport missions and other duties. The purchase represents the first export order of this militarized version of the EC145 T2, which is the newest and most powerful model in Airbus Helicopters’ proven EC145 light twin-engine helicopter family.
In addition, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has placed a repeat order for two EC725 tactical transport rotorcraft for SAR/CSAR (search and rescue/combat search and rescue) missions, operating from 2 Wing at Lop Buri Air Base in Thailand’s Lop Buri Province. These aircraft will be provided in 2017, joining the four EC725s that were ordered under a contract signed on September 18, 2012, for deliveries from 2015. The type is replacing replace the elderly UH-1H Iroquois used by the RTAF in the SAR role. Alan Warnes