The US Army has awarded Boeing a $103.7 million contract for the deliveries of AH-6i light attack reconnaissance helicopters to Thailand.
The Pentagon contract award said the order had an estimated completion date of May 2025, without revealing exactly how many helicopters are to be delivered.
A US State Department approval for the sale from September 2019 indicated that Thailand was looking to buy eight helicopters from the Little Bird family, as well as Lockheed Martin’s AGM-114R Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, BAE Systems’ Advance Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) guided rockets, .50 Cal machine guns, and 500 Hydra 70 Rockets.
The approval had an estimated value of $400 million and additionally included night vision goggles, WESCAM MX-10Di electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras, training equipment and support.
AH-6 is expected to replace the Bell AH-1F Cobra attack helicopter currently in service with the Royal Thai Army.
“The proposed sale of the AH-6i helicopter will improve the Royal Thai Army’s (RTA) light attack capability to strengthen its homeland defense and deter regional threats. These AH-6i helicopters will replace the RTA’s aging fleet of seven AH-IF Cobra helicopter,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in 2019.
Based on the MH-6 Little Bird and MD 500 family, the AH-6 is designed for light attack, precision attack, anti-armor, close combat attacks, reconnaissance, security and Escort, troop insertion/extraction, and combat search and rescue missions.
In addition to the US special forces and Thailand, the AH-6 is in service with the armed forces of Jordan and Saudi Arabia.