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Russian Helicopters touts platforms to Thai military

27 November 2018
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Thailand is looking to procure additional Mil Mi-17V5 helicopters, seen here in Indian Air Force colours, to replace its Boeing CH-47D Chinook fleet. Source: Russian Helicopters

Russian Helicopters has promoted its Ansat lightweight multirole platform and the Mi-171A2, an enhanced version of its Mil Mi-17 multirole medium helicopter, to the Thai military, aiming to secure additional sales in the Southeast Asian country.

The two helicopter types were showcased at an event held at the Royal Thai Navy's (RTN's) U-Tapao Air Base in Chonburi on 26 November. The event was part of Russian Helicopter's 'South Asian Heli Tour' in which it is promoting the two platform types to civilian and military customers across Southeast Asia.

The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has procured five Mil Mi-17V5 multimission helicopters since 2011 - the Thai military's first acquisition of Russian rotary-wing platforms - while in 2017 the Thailand's Ministry of Interior ordered two Russian Ka-32A11BC utility helicopters for disaster relief operations.

In a press release announcing the promotional event, Andrey Boginskiy, the director general of Russian Helicopters, said the company is "striving to reinforce business relations with commercial and state customers in Thailand". He added, "The potential operators show interest in Ansat and Mi-17 rotorcraft in various modifications, thus we believe that showcasing our helicopters here is perfectly timed."

In 2016 the RTA disclosed a requirement to procure additional Mi-17V5 helicopters to replace its ageing fleet of Boeing CH-47D Chinook heavy-lift platforms. The requirement is understood to be at least 12 units, although these are expected to be ordered over several batches.

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