The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the U.S. State Department on Tuesday has cleared a possible $400 million foreign military sale of eight AH-6i light attack reconnaissance helicopters to Thailand.
Congress was notified of the sale September 24, according to an announcement posted to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s website. Congress is required to approve the deal.
The sale will include AGM-114R Hellfire missiles, Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) rockets, M134 Mini Guns, M260 Rocket Launchers, M299 Longbow Hellfire Launcher, AN/APN-209 Radar Altimeter, Hydra 70 Rockets, AN/AVS-6 Night Vision Goggles, and related equipment.
The principal contractor is Boeing Company, Mesa, Arizona.
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, according to a recent service release.
“These AH-6i helicopters will replace the RTA’s aging fleet of seven AH-IF Cobra helicopters,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency message states. “As part of a broader military modernization effort, these AH-6i helicopters will provide light attack reconnaissance for close air support to special operations forces, Stryker infantry soldiers and border guard units.”
The AH-6i is a single-turbine helicopter that is based on the combat-proven OH-6A Cayuse. It is an advanced variant of the AH-6M helicopter operated by the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. It incorporates advanced technologies from the Boeing AH-64E Apache multirole attack helicopter that give it superior performance over other aircraft in its class.
The helicopter is intended to provide close-air support for land-based forces and serve as an attack platform for destroying tanks, armored vehicles and fortifications.
The AH-6i features flexible mission configuration, an integrated digital cockpit, combat-proven design, the highest payload in its class, an integrated and qualified weapons system, and a communications package that enables connectivity with other aircraft and ground stations.