The Royal Thai Army, rejecting speculation about the cabinet’s approval of 3.1 billion baht to buy eight helicopters as being a favour to the military, on Wednesday said the purchase had been planned for a long time and it was necessary.
The cabinet on Tuesday gave the green light to the army’s proposal to buy six UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters and two Russian-made military transport Mi-17V5 helicopters on a three-year (2013-2015) tied-over budget.
RTA deputy spokesperson Col Winthai Suwaree said the new copters were needed. “The new helicopters will replace old ones that have been in service for more than 40 years. Most of them are either beyond repair or not worth the maintenance," he said.
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