SHAH ALAM: The Joneses… Thailand buying Little Birds. Back in November, 2019, the US State Department 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).
It appears that contract has been finalized as the US Defence Department on February 18 announced:
The Boeing Co., Mesa, Arizona, was awarded a $103,774,884 modification (PZ0007) to contract W58RGZ-20-C-0037 for AH-6 aircraft. Work will be performed in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of May 30, 2025. Fiscal 2010 Foreign Military Sales (Thailand) funds in the amount of $103,774,884 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.
Based on the announcement above, Thailand is expected to take delivery of the helicopters in 36 months from the commencement of the contract, compared to the 72 months it took for our own Little Birds.
It is likely the US$103 million (RM430 million) already paid to Boeing is the down payment for the deal. It remains unclear however whether the proposed sale price will stay the same or all the items announced in the proposed sale announcement in 2019 would be fulfilled. (see below).
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.
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Thailand is the second customer for the AH-6I -which was also marketed to Malaysia – after Saudi Arabia which bought 24.
— Malaysian Defence