According to AAG_th
In other news, there are rumors that the Royal Thai Army are interested in the attack helicopter Thailand Mil Mi-28 (NATO code Havoc) from Russia. To replace AH-1F Cobra stationed in the Rotary-Wing fleet 3 Army Aviation Center which operate 7 units.
But in my personal opinion, the opportunity that this will be a possibility in this case may not be much.
For the last several years, the Army main method of sourcing new aircraft has been to order a series of helicopters in small lots. As you can see from passed procurement,
Armed reconnaissance helicopter AS550 C3, helicopter transport for general purpose use UH-72A, UH-60M, AW139, H145 and Mi-17V5 all of which have not exceeded 10 units per model as the army most urgent need is to procure replacement helicopters for general purpose use which are nearing the end of their useful life cycle, such as UH-1H, Bell 206A and CH-47D that requires urgent consideration for replacement in the near future. As these general purpose helicopters are more necessary than attack helicopters.
AH-1F EDA Royal Thai Army
Although the Army procured the first 4 AH-1F since BE 2534 (1991) and another lot of 4 AH-1F EDA since BE 2555 (2012) which were used.
Due to budgetary reasons the Army may still need to operate the AH-1F for some time to come. The new attack helicopters whether it is from the United States, Western Europe or Russia, would still need a large amount of budget.
Such as the AH-64A Apache attack helicopter the RTA pilots expressed their personal opinion that it is more expensive than the AH-1F, but there is not much difference in it’s combat capability. Or in the case of the AH-64E Block III Apache Guardian’s latest advanced systems such as cameras that show color images at night is very expensive. The army is unlikely to have enough funding to procure it.
As can be seen by many weapons procurement projects which has been suspended or delayed due to lack of budget. Such as the guided anti-tank missile launcher project to procure the Spike MR to replace the M47 Dragon.
But that does not mean that the Russian Mi-28 attack helicopters would be a better choice even if the price is right compared to quality and capability as the army has experienced with the Mi-17V5 of which 5 units is in operation with the General Support Aviation Division Army Aviation Center.
We must take into account that the aircraft used within the armed forces past and present such as UH-1H Huey Gunship, AH-1F Cobra and AS550 C3 use similar basic weapons system which can be shared and is NATO compatible.
Read the rest of the original article in Thai: HERE
See details of Mi-28: HERE
I don’t agree with the author of the above article in terms of weapons commonality as many countries operate both Western and Russian equipment and weapons. The helicopter may be customized with Western communications, avionics and data link for commonality and integration with RTA and Thai Armed Forces. Russian weapons and equipment have proven to be more robust than Western weapons and equipment as seen in the Middle East countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt whom have returned to procure Russian weapons after experiencing disappointment from Western weapons especially in the harsh Middle East environment and many countries wanting to procure Russian weapons who are first time customers. The Mi-28 has 600kg of armor compared to 180kg for the Apache, just look at the Saudi Apache in Yemen many have been shot down. The other thing good about Mi-28 is that it has an parachute escape system for a crew of two. The portside and starboard cockpit doors and wing panels are installed with an emergency jettisoning system. On the contrary it also acts a security to RTA which heavily rely on Western weapons which maybe subject to embargoes.
The USA always overhype their weapons capability as they make a living in selling weapons the Apache also performed badly in the Iraq war but was covered up by the USA as usual whole squadrons of Apaches were shot up see details (Chop the Chopper)