The United States has agreed to sell four more Black Hawk helicopters to the army, reversing an earlier decision not to sell the aircraft following the 2014 coup, the army chief said on Thursday.
Gen Chalermchai Sitthisat said at the army headquarters that the sale would proceed under the US Department of Defence's Foreign Military Sales programme. The army already has 12 multirole Black Hawks and the four new ones would increase the number to 16, completing the fleet that the army desires, he said.
The cost of a Black Hawk helicopter was quoted at 750 million baht each for the army several years ago.
Speculation that Thailand might purchase military hardware from the US was high after Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantravanich said on Monday the armed forces were being asked to compile information about American-made weapons and equipment ahead of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's planned trip to the US next month.
Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon insisted later that a weapons purchase programme was not on the agenda for the prime minister's trip.