The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has received three more Russian-made Mil Mi-17V-5 medium transport helicopters. The helicopters, which were officially handed over to the RTA on 26 March during a ceremony held at U-Tapao airfield, will join seven other Mi-17V-5s operated by the RTA. The delivery was announced on social media by the Russian Embassy in Thailand on 1 April. Russian Helicopters have also looked at the possibility of creating a helicopter service center in Thailand.
It is understood that the Royal Thai Army has the need to supply additional 16 Mi-17V5 helicopters to replace the helicopters Boeing CH-47D Chinook. The Royal Thai Army has provided the 16 Mi-17V5, previously active 5 helicopters divided into the first 3 sets of helicopters in 2008 active in the year 2011, second series 2 helicopters in 2014, when combined with the latest series 2 helicopters will be totally 7 helicopters.
The first three Mi-17V-5s were ordered by the Royal Thai Army in March 2008 and delivered in March 2011, while two more were ordered in July 2014 and handed over in November 2015. Orders for the sixth and seventh rotorcraft were placed in December 2017, with deliveries taking place by mid-December 2018. The latest three helicopters are likely to be operated by the Royal Thai Army’s 41st Aviation Battalion at Lopburi, which already operates the other seven platforms.
The Mi-17V-5 (NATO reporting name: Hip-H) military transport helicopter is designed to carry personnel, cargo and equipment inside the cargo cabin or on an external sling, drop tactical air assault forces, medical evacuation and reconnaissance. Its armament system includes unguided rockets (up to 80 S-8 80mm unguided aerial rockets), cannons (suspended pods with 23mm cannons and 250 rounds each) and small arms.