By Staff Writer | October 22, 2014
Thailand’s navy and air force have acquired two mission-ready Airbus Helicopters rotorcraft types: the light-utility EC645 T2 and the 11-ton-class EC725.
The Royal Thai Navy signed for five EC645 T2s to be deployed on transport duties and other missions, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2016. Its purchase represents the first export order of this militarized version of the EC145 T2.
In the Royal Thai Air Force’s reorder of Airbus Helicopters’ EC725, the military service is obtaining two of the tactical transport rotorcraft for search and rescue/combat search and rescue (SAR/CSAR) missions, operating from Wing 2 at Lop Buri Air Base in Thailand’s Lop Buri Province. These aircraft will be provided in 2017, joining the four previously ordered EC725s booked in 2012 for deliveries from 2015.
EC725. Photo by Anthony Pecchi, courtesy Airbus Helicopters
The EC645 T2 features a modern digital cockpit and a 4-axis autopilot. With a maximum takeoff weight of 3.7 tons, the helicopter is powered by Turbomeca Arriel 2E powerplants equipped with dual-channel full authority digital engine controls (FADEC). The rotorcraft also includes Airbus Helicopters’ Fenestron shrouded tail rotor that will enhance safety during landings and takeoffs in confined landing sites, as well as during loading/unloading on the ground while the rotor is turning.
The EC725 is a twin-engine helicopter with a digital 4-axis autopilot and five- blade composite main rotor. It can perform multiple missions that range from combat search and rescue, long-range tactical transport and aeromedical transport to logistic support and naval duties.
Currently operated by the military forces of France, Brazil, Mexico, Malaysia, Thailand and soon in Indonesia as well, the EC725’s reliability and durability has been confirmed in such crisis areas as Lebanon, Afghanistan and Mali, while also supporting French troops during NATO-led operations in Libya.