At Defense & Security Thailand 2017, deputy director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation Mikhail Petukhov announced that Russia had signed a contract in September 2017 to deliver two Mil Mi-17V-5 helicopters to the Royal Thai Army which already operates five of the type.
The Mi-17V-5 helicopter is designed to carry personnel, cargo and equipment. It is also fitted with an external sling that can carry cargo as an underslung load. Its primary task includes tactical air drops, and conduct rescue operations and carry armament to destroy targets on the ground. The helicopter is fitted with a heavily armoured cockpit and a self-defense system against heat-seeking missiles.
Russia and Thailand also signed an inter-governmental agreement in September on military and technical cooperation and Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport has offered the Kamov Ka-52 and Mil Mi-35M rotorcraft for a tender announced by Thailand for the purchase of attack helicopters.
Russia intends to participate in all of Thailand’s tenders for the purchase of military products, including naval hardware.
The Royal Thai Army needs to replace outdated Boeing CH-47 Chinooks that are used as main military transport helicopters and with a limited budget Russia’s helicopters meet its requirements both in capabilities and price.
The Indian Air Force operates more than 150 Mi-17 V5 helicopters, the last of which were delivered in January 2016.