Monday, November 2, 2009

Royal Thai Army's airship 'next to useless'

An airship imported by the army to carry out patrol and surveillance work in the lower South is next to useless as it is not equipped with the essential cameras the US supplier promised, an army source says.

The 350 million baht aircraft arrived in Thailand three months ago and troops with the Royal Thai Army Aviation have received training in its use, the source said.

The army has paid 140 million baht so far using a tied-over budget but the company supplying the Aeros 40D was said to have encountered financial problems which meant it could not buy the cameras, the source said.

The body of the airship costs 260 million baht, the two surveillance infrared cameras capable of functioning day and night cost 70 million baht, and the ground communication equipment costs 20 million baht.

The army has come in for flak for purchasing the airship for use in heavily forested areas in the South as this type of aircraft is usually used over deserts.

There are also concerns about the airship's vulnerability to attack from the ground, but the army says it is able to operate at altitudes which put it beyond attack by the conventional war weapons used by militants.

The army had planned to buy two of the airships but put those plans on hold when it came up against supply problems, the source said.

The purchase was initiated by army chief Anupong Paojinda and his deputy Prayuth Chan-ocha when Gen Prayuth was army chief-of-staff, the source said.

The army is also waiting to take delivery of 96 armoured personnel carriers ordered from Ukraine at a cost of 3.9 billion baht but the deal has been held up after Germany refused to supply the engines.

In Narathiwat, Abdulloh Deeyanon, 43, a deputy village head from Ban Lu Bo Dee Yae in tambon Tanyong Limo, Rangae district, was gunned on Saturday while drinking tea with friends at a tea shop.

4 comments:

thank Allah that pakistan has china as it's closest ally, otherwise the united states would have sold us the same junk that is of no use

Yeah right...because Pakistan is not interested at all in getting those fancy F-16s...

Allah be Blessed! It looks like the Royal Thai Army has been shafted by the Great Satan America! They can now use it to bring foreign tourists for sightseeing trips.

Thank allah, for making muhammad a pedophile, and granting Pakistan taliban and alqaeda

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