The Joneses…Thailand Orders Boeing Little Birds

Boeing AH-6I. Boeing.

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.

Boeing AH-6i. Boeing.

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.
MD530G test bird with the weapons package expected to be procured.

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).
Boeing AH-6I

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.

24 Boeing AH-6Is are being delivered to Saudi Arabia National Guard.

Thailand is the second customer for the AH-6I -which was also marketed to Malaysia – after Saudi Arabia which bought 24.

— Malaysian Defence

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8 Comments

  1. Laser guided missiles and Hell Fires against a bunch of rebels armed with AK 47 and Parangs ..for the tasks at ESSCOM rockets and MG are sufficient…

  2. Thai Army intends for these Little Birds to replace their Cobra gunships. In terms of like for like performance, the LBs are inferior to the Cobras so I am piqued how they would manage this performance gap. It does appear like TA is not putting lesser emphasis on anti-tank/gunship support role and spending only the bare minimal getting a light attack scout rather than a ‘proper’ gunship chopper to replace the Cobras.

    For our own use case, the LBs would help us to develop a gunship support playbook at a lower cost compared to if we outright got a ‘proper’ gunship, tho I am concerned that we didn’t spec in anti-armour capabilities.

  3. Nice as for us..i will take h145m for putd to be based at east malaysia after md530g ‘brilliantly’ restationed at kuantan afb..ha ha..H145m looks solid too for RMAF for SF insertion but

  4. Mofaz – against a bunch of rebels armed with AK 47 and Parangs

    – What makes you so sure the army’s current plans call for them to be used solely or mainly in ESSCOM? They will be used as armed recce scout/fire support platform.

    – AKs are rare in the Philippines. Stuff used would include M-1s, M-14s, M16A1s/2s and SLRs [courtesy of Gadaffi].

    – Whether against actors armed with laser guns or parangs, laser guided rockets are useful in that they enable precision… They might be more expensive but you also end up.using less rounds.

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