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Army chief affirms Black Hawk helicopter procurement

Army chief Gen Chalermchai Sithisart said yesterday (June 29) that the Army would procure four Black Hawk helicopters from the United States this year.

He said the procurement of the four helicopters would be added to the squadron of 16 of which 12 have already been commissioned to service.

The squadron is now used to airlift infantry forces to operation areas, he said.

He made clear that the procurement of a squadron of Black Hawk helicopters has been approved long ago but was interrupted during the military takeover in 2014.

But the US has already acknowledged the sale later last year, he said.

Earlier Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon said the helicopter procurement might be on the agenda for the talks between Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and US President Donald Trump during his planned visit to the US at end of July.

Besides Gen Prayut was ready to explain his government's need to remain in power during the past years due to the ongoing conflicts, but was ready to return the powers to the people under its roadmap to democracy when election is held in 2018.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)