Senators backing sale of helicopters to Thailand
by MBJ Staff
Published: June 21,2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran (R-Miss) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) are supporting the possible sale to Thailand of Lakota helicopters manufactured in Mississippi.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of the government of Thailand’s request to purchase six Lakota helicopters, with associated training and equipment. The estimated cost is $77 million.
“The sale of these aircraft has the potential to benefit our relationship with an important ally and to enhance the reputation of Mississippi’s manufacturing capabilities,” said Cochran, vice chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
DSCA has also indicated that the proposed sale, which continues to be reviewed, will enhance interoperability between Thailand and the United States, while not adversely impacting U.S. defense readiness. According to Inside the Army, this sale could be the precursor to additional aircraft purchase requests from the government of Thailand.
Every delivery of the Lakota to the United States Army, which is produced at Golden Triangle Regional Airport, has been ahead of schedule and under budget.
The helicopter is primarily used by the U.S. Army for non-combat missions including emergency response, border security, and light transport.
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