BANGKOK, — The Royal Thai Armed Forces plan to replace outdated Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters produced in the United States with Russia's Mi-17V5 helicopters, Thai Army's Commander-in-Chief Teerachai Nakwanich said Wednesday.
Earlier in May, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said that Bangkok could purchase Russia's helicopters for its needs.
"We need helicopters to replace outdated US CH-47 Chinook that are used as main military transport helicopters. We do not have money to buy new Chinooks, our budget is very limited and Russia's helicopters meet our requirements both in their characteristics and prices," Nakwanich said in an interview with Fifth National TV channel of Thailand, commenting on the recent statements of the prime minister.
Thailand was expected to use Russia's Mi-17V5 helicopters for tackling natural disasters and emergencies, for evacuation and landing missions, he added.
Mi-17V5 is one of the most advanced modifications of the Mi-17 family. It is produced by JSC Kazan Helicopters and sold through Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport.
The Royal Thai Army CH-47D Chinook heavy-lift helicopter. Its primary roles are troop movement, artillery placement and battlefield resupply.