The Royal Thai Army has accepted its first batch of three Enstrom 480B light turbine helicopters, to be used for training. The aircraft are the first instalment from a 2010 deal for 16 480Bs, said US-based Enstrom.
Another three will arrive in Thailand this month, and be re-assembled for acceptance in early September. All 16 helicopters will be delivered by the end of the second quarter of 2012.
Enstrom has also provided training for 21 Thai army pilots and 28 mechanics.
The company also delivered one 480B to the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force, with a second to follow in October.
Enstrom is in negotiations with the service to provide an additional 28 480Bs, with the full programme providing funds for 30 training helicopters.
Enstrom cited several attributes of the type that make it a useful training platform, such as its high mast rotor head, robust blades, good stability, comfortable seating, good visibility and strong landing gear.