MELBOURNE, Australia — Thailand has ordered four more Airbus Helicopters H225M twin-engine medium lift helicopters from the European manufacturer, bringing the total number of helicopters ordered by the country to 12.

According to an announcement by Airbus, these four helicopters will be delivered to Thailand in 2021. They will join the six helicopters already in service with the Royal Thai Air Force, with another two H225Ms ordered in 2016 due to be received by Thailand later this year.

Airbus says that the helicopters will be fitted with emergency flotation gear, fast roping, cargo sling, search light and electro-optical systems. The announcement added that this latest contract will also cover on-site technical support and continuing airworthiness management organization services, fully supported by Airbus’ Thailand team.

Thailand uses its H225Ms primarily as a troop transport, replacing the Bell UH-1 in the role that it had been serving in since the late 1960s. The twin-engine, 11-ton (25,000-lb) rated H225M can carry a maximum of 28 troops, more than double the capacity of its predecessor.

“The H225Ms have served the Royal Thai Air Force well since the delivery of its first batch in 2015, and we are truly honored by this renewed order, underscoring their continued trust and confidence in our helicopters and the committed support to their fleet,” says Philippe Monteux, head of the Southeast Asia and Pacific region for Airbus Helicopters.

The H225M has been a popular choice for southeast Asian militaries, with Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore operating or having ordered the type alongside Thailand. The civilian H225 version is also operated by the coast guard and militaries of Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam mainly in the search-and-rescue role, with Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force also using it as VIP transports.

Mike Yeo is the Asia correspondent for Defense News.

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