The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has taken delivery of its new H225M (previously known as EC725) tactical transport helicopters. Air Chief Marshal Chawapon Yimpong, Commander-in-Chief of Aviation Division 2, together with Deputy Commander of Aviation Division 2, Chief of Staff of Aviation Division 2 welcomed the group of pilots and staff members from AIRBUS HELICOPTER Company on the occasion that AIRBUS HELICOPTER Company delivered EC725 helicopter (locally named Type 11) number 20309 and 20310 at the hangar, Squadron 203, Wing 2 on November 24, 2021. They are expected to begin operations later this month.
Since 2012, the RTAF has placed orders for a total of 12 H225M tactical transport helicopters under its fleet modernization program. Belonging to a contract signed in 2016, these new additions will join the air force’s existing fleet of six H225Ms for combat search and rescue, search and rescue flights and troop transport missions.Airbus Helicopters’ EC725 is a military rotorcraft of reference for the South East Asian region. Indonesia has ordered six units, deliveries of which started in late 2014; while Malaysia is already operating its fleet of 12 aircraft, performing numerous SAR missions at high availability rates.
The cAirbus Helicopters H225M, is a long-range tactical transport military helicopter developed from the Eurocopter AS532 Cougar for military use. It is a twin-engined aircraft and can carry up to 28 seated troops along with two crew, depending on customer configuration. The helicopter is marketed for troop transport, casualty evacuation, and combat search and rescue duties. The EC725 is based on the Eurocopter AS 532 Cougar, improving upon the design with a five-blade composite main rotor incorporating a new airfoil shape to reduce vibration levels. They can be fitted with an anti-icing system to enable the aircraft to operate in very cold climates.
The helicopter can be fitted with removable armour plating to protect the troops and is powered by two Turbomeca Makila 1A4 turboshaft engines mounted over the cabin. The EC725 can be equipped with various military equipment and armaments, such as a pair of 7.62 mm FN MAG machine guns mounted within forward left and right windows, or a pair of 68 mm (2.75″) side-mounted rocket launchers, each with 19 rockets, the MU90 Impact aerial-launched torpedo or Exocet anti-ship missile. The helicopter has day and night time search and rescue capabilities by way of a search radar and forward-looking infrared (FLIR).