-- The MoU lays the foundation for the potential purchase of AW101 helicopters in the country for Police, Army, Air Force and Navy.
-- UK Government and Leonardo working closely together to increase export sales of the AW101 and AW159 helicopters.
-- An opportunity for Leonardo to significantly expand its business in Thailand and deliver in country maintenance, repair & overhaul (MRO) capabilities.
Leonardo signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Defence Technology Institute (DTI) of Thailand on November 8th covering technology transfer and the establishment of helicopter maintenance, repair & overhaul (MRO) capabilities in the country, should the AW101 aircraft be ordered for use by the Police, Army, Air Force and Navy.
The MoU was signed by Colonel Tawiwat Veeraklaew, Acting Director General of the Defence Technology Institute (DTI), and Brian McEachen, Head of Region - Asia & Oceania at Leonardo Helicopters Division, at the Defense & Security 2017 exhibition being held in Bangkok 6th to 9th November.
John Ponsonby, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters in the UK said “It is a great honour to sign this MoU which has the potential to significantly expand our existing business with the Thai Armed Forces, to reinforce our partnership with the country and to help further develop Thailand’s helicopter MRO capabilities.”
He added “I would also like to thank the UK Government, in particular the Department for International Trade Defence and Security Organisation, for their help in facilitating this MoU and promoting the AW101, which is undoubtedly the best helicopter in its class and ideal for meeting the wide range of requirements of the Thai Armed Forces.”
Leonardo has established itself as a strong partner in Thailand in the naval, land and air domains. The company has supplied air surveillance, naval and land radar systems, helicopters and maritime patrol radars. In the civil market Leonardo has supported Thailand since the early 70s, particularly via the provision of air traffic control systems.
A number of programmes have been implemented nation-wide in the last 10 years. These also include, among others, the air defence RAT31DL system as well as the KRONOS multifunctional, scalable, C-band, solid-state radar system.
Further programmes also comprise the HALO acoustic weapon locating system, and Thermal Sight System (TSS) for the Scorpion light tanks. In the rotorcraft field, Leonardo currently has several helicopter types in service with the Thai Armed Forces including the AW139 with the Royal Thai Army and the Super Lynx 300 with the Royal Thai Navy.