Tag Archives: Royal Thai Air Force

Additional Caracals for Thailand

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has ordered two additional H225M Caracal multirole utility helicopters as part of the continuation of its fleet strengthening programme agreement launched in 2012. Delivery of the two additional choppers is scheduled for 2019.

These nwely ordered helicopters will join an existing fleet of four identical helicopters to perform similar missions. Two H225Ms that were booked in 2014 will also be delivered by the end of this year. Upon signing this latest contract, the RTAF may also consider to further expand its fleet of H225Ms.

The RTAF’s helicopters are specially equipped with fast roping, cargo sling, search light and electro-optical systems (EOS) to perform combat search and rescue (CSAR) missions, search and rescue (SAR) flights, troop transport operations and other tasks.

Thailand orders T-50 trainers

Thailand has signed a contract with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) for the purchase of four T-50 Golden Eagle jet trainers, as announced on Thursday 17 September. The order is worth 110 million USD.

The aircraft should be delivered from 2017 onwards. The T-50 is already in service in South Korea and Indonesia, while Iraq and the Philippines have also ordered the type. The Thai deal marks a significant success for KAI in the very competitive trainer market. In Thailand, the T-50 is set to replace the Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatros trainer.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A KAI T-50 during a test flight. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

Thai Gripens celebrate 5,000 hours in the air

The Royal Thai Air Force on Thursday 10 September celebrated 5,000 hours of flying the Saab JAS39 Gripen. The aircraft has been in Thai service for well over four years now, operated by  701st squadron ‘Sharks’, part of the 7th wing at Surat Thani airbase.

The Thai Gripen deal was signed in 2008. The first of twelve JAS39C/D Gripens were flown to Thailand in February 2011, with the last arriving two years later. Thailand is the only Asian country operating the Saab jet. Other Gripen operators are Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa and, starting 2019, Brazil.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): A Royal Thai Air Force JAS39C Gripen in much colder conditions than its Thai habitat. This pictures was taken in Sweden in June 2012. (Image © Elmer van Hest) 

First Caracals for Thailand

The Royal Thai Air Force has taken delivery of an initial four Airbus Helicopters H225 Caracal medium heavy helicopters. The choppers will serve Thailand in the (combat) search and rescue (CSAR/SAR) and troop transport role.

The order for four Caracals was signed in 2012. Two additional helos were booked in 2014 for delivery to the Royal Thai Air Force next year. Operations with the first four now delivered, are expected to begin later this month.

The EC725 is an 11-ton twin-engine helicopter featuring room for 28 persons plus high-performance navigation and mission systems. In Asia, Thailand joins Indonesia and Malaysia in operating the type.

Source: Airbus Helicopters
Featured image: Two Caracals seen during training in France. (Image © Anthony Pecchi / Airbus Helicopters)

Thai Air Force retires Arava, wants drones

The Royal Thai Air Force is retiring its three remaining Israeli Aircraft Industries Arava light patrol aircraft, according to the Air Force Commander in the Bangkok Post. The military is now opting to create two squadrons of drones in stead, boosting its surveillance capability.

The IAI 201 Arava’s have served Thailand for more than 36 years, currently flying as ELINT aircraft with 402 Squadron based at Takhli. Between 1972 and 1998 the Israelis built 103 of these light Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) aircraft. Despite its small size it can transport 24 combat-ready troops in the transport role, as a surveillance platform it is a very affordable asset with low usage costs.

The Israeli Air Force retired its Aravas already in 2004.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: An IAI Arava somewhat similar to the one in use by the Royal Thai Air Force. (Image (CC) Bob Woolnough)