SHAH ALAM: Thailand buying Boeing Little Birds. The US State Department on Sept. 24 announced the proposed sale to Thailand of eight Boeing AH-6I light attack reconnaissance helicopters and related equipment in a deal worth $400 million (RM1.675 billion).
Although its just an announcement of a proposed sale, it is likely that the deal will be finalised soon. In July, the U.S announced a proposed deal to for 60 Stryker infantry carrier vehicles with equipment and support for an estimated cost of $175 million. By late August, ten of the Strykers were already delivered to Bangkok, with another 50 coming by year end. Thailand is expected to buy another 60 Strykers.
The proposed deal for the Boeing Little Birds came weeks after Malaysian Defence reported that the deal for the MD530G light scout attack helicopters for the Malaysian Army was about to be cancel.
Thailand is the second customer for the AH-6I -which was also marketed to Malaysia – after Saudi Arabia which bought 24.
The DSCA announcement:
WASHINGTON, September 24, 2019 – The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Thailand of eight (8) AH-6i light attack reconnaissance helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $400 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
The Government of Thailand has requested to buy eight (8) AH-6i light attack reconnaissance helicopters; fifty (50) AGM-114R Hellfire missiles; and two-hundred (200) Advance Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) Rockets. Also included are ten (10) M134 Mini Guns, ten (10) M260 Rocket Launchers; ten (1) M299 Longbow Hellfire Launcher; ten (10) AN/APN-209 Radar Altimeter; eight (8) AN/APR-39(V)(4) four (4) GAU-19/B .50 Cal Machine Gun; five-hundred (500) Hydra 70 Rockets; twenty (20) AN/AVS-6 Night Vision Goggles; eight (8) WESCAM MX-10Di Cameras; ten (10) AN/APX-123 IFF; ten (10) AN/ARC 201E-VHF-FM; ten (10) AN/ARC-231 w/ MX-4027; ten (10) LN-251 Inertial Navigation System/Global Positioning System (EGI); Aircrew Trainer (ACT); Pilot Desktop Trainer (PDT); Virtual Maintenance Trainer (VMT;, contractor provided pilot and maintainer training peculiar ground support equipment; spares; publications; integrated product support; technical assistance; quality assurance team; transportation; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $400 million.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO ally in INDO-PACOM. Thailand is a strategic partner committed to contributing to regional security.
The proposed sale of the AH-6i helicopter will improve the Royal Thai Army’s (RTA) light attack capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats. These AH-6i helicopters will replace the RTA’s aging fleet of seven AH-IF Cobra helicopters. As part of a broader military modernization effort, these AH-6i helicopters will provide light attack reconnaissance for close air support to special operations forces, Stryker infantry soldiers and border guard units. Thailand will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractor for the AH-6i is Boeing Company, Mesa, Arizona. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any permanent additional U.S. Government or Contractor representatives to Thailand.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
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