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Thailand to receive two MH-60S helicopters

BALTIMORE, USA (BNS): The Royal Thailand Navy is set to receive two MH-60S Seahawk helicopters from the US.

The Sikorsky-built maritime helicopters flew from Owego, New York, to the Port of Baltimore, Maryland, ahead of their ocean voyage to Thailand.

With their delivery, Thailand will become the first international customer to receive the helicopters.

The country had signed a contract worth $58 million in 2007 to acquire two MH-60S helicopters through the US Government’s Foreign Military Sales programme.

“MH-60S ‘Sierra’ helicopters have proven to be highly reliable utility aircraft for the US Navy fleet,” said Michael Sears, the US Navy’s international H-60 deputy programme manager.

“We are honoured to provide Thailand with the same capability, along with pilot and maintainer training, spares and logistical support,” the official said.

The new aircraft will augment the Royal Thai Navy’s fleet of six Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk and six marinized S-76B helicopters acquired from the US in the 1990s. The Royal Thai Navy plans to acquire more MH-60S helicopters.

The MH-60S is a multi-utility helicopter that can carry out combat search and rescue, special warfare support and airborne mine countermeasures missions. Additionally, in its armed configuration, the aircraft can conduct anti-surface warfare mission.

The helicopters acquired by the Royal Thai Navy are designed for utility missions, such as logistics and troop transport. In addition, the standard searchlight and rescue hoist will enable aircrew to perform search and rescue missions, Sikorsky said.

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