Thailand has signed a letter of offer and acceptance covering two Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk tactical transport helicopters. They are being acquired through U.S. Foreign Military Sales channels and, after delivery to the Royal Thai Army, will be the first examples of this new generation of Black Hawk operating in Southeast Asia.
The UH-60M is the current standard production model being delivered for export and to the U.S. Army, which expects to receive its 500th machine this summer. Powered by two General Electric T700-GE-701D turboshafts driving a redesigned rotor, the “Mike” model sports a digital glass cockpit and advanced flight control system, among other improvements. The purchase by the Thai army is part of an ongoing overhaul of the service’s assault transport capability, which also saw the arrival last year of six Mil Mi-17V5s.
Thailand has proved to be a good market for Sikorsky over the years. The Royal Thai Army already operates earlier S-70A-43 Black Hawks, while the Royal Thai Navy has had S-70B-7 Seahawks in service for some time. Last August the navy became the first export recipient of the MH-60S Seahawk, acquiring two for utility transport and SAR missions. Earlier in 2011, Thailand received three S-92 helicopters for royal transport duties.