Author Topic: Army in new bid to get its airship flying  (Read 1014 times)

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Offline thaiga

Army in new bid to get its airship flying
« on: September 27, 2012, 07:18:10 PM »
The army has agreed to pay 50 million baht more to an American airship producer to make its 350-million-baht airship fly for the first time since its procurement.

An army source said the army signed a contract with Aria International Inc on Sept 20 to make the surveillance airship stay up in the air.

The company was originally hired to provide the airship, which has not flown since its arrival in the country

Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered the contract because he does not want the airship to rest in its hangar in Pattani province any longer.

The contractor is confident it can make the airship fly by November.

The airship has been unable to fly since its delivery about two years ago. The army formally accepted the airship in July last year. Since then it has had to pay for its maintenance.

The army has paid 200,000-300,000 baht a month to refill the airship with helium, to help the airship keep its shape and avoid leaks. The army has paid about 25 million baht altogether for refills in the past year.

The airship was ordered during the tenure of former army chief Anupong Paochinda who hoped it would help deter threats in the three southern border provinces. However, it was criticised for being unsuitable for security missions in the far South, as it could be shot down with ease.

Poor storage caused multiple leaks, and the supplier repaired it once. The cameras of the airship and their video streaming system are also out of order.

source
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sicho

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Re: Army in new bid to get its airship flying
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 10:36:39 PM »
 :lol :lol :lol
 

Offline thaiga

Re: Army in new bid to get its airship flying
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 10:40:51 PM »
 
should be in  Half as serious and less  does helium make you laugh  :lol :lol :lol
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Offline nookiebear

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Re: Army in new bid to get its airship flying
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 05:04:11 AM »
Such a farce could only happen here in LOS :lol :lol
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Offline thaiga

Re: Army in new bid to get its airship flying-Army defends blimp repairs
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 12:16:30 PM »
BANGKOK: -- The Army said yesterday that the deal worth Bt50 million for two foreign companies to repair and further equip its grounded airship in the South was permitted because a maintenance agreement with the seller had expired.



After the repair work is done, the Army's lone blimp will be operational by November, said spokesman Colonel Winthai Suwaree.

New optical surveillance and signalrelaying equipment will be installed after the completion of the maintenance work, he added.

The Army has spent Bt25 million to maintain the Bt350-million blimp, which mostly involves Bt300,000 a month to keep it filled with helium to keep it intact and prevent leaks. Kept in a hangar in Pattani, the blimp was controversially purchased by former Army chief Anupong Paochinda with an aim to provide surveillance and air support to security forces. It's manufactured by Worldwide Aeros Corp, one of the companies awarded the new contract.

According to an online news source, citing claims by highranking officers, there is still a Bt15million deposit to guarantee "effectiveness and satisfaction" not yet paid to Arial International, which sold the airship.

The Nation
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Offline coolkorat

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Re: Army in new bid to get its airship flying
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 04:47:52 PM »
Why do they need an airship? Thailand, it seems, has highly capable UAVs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IAI_Searcher). Given that most nations use UAVs to be their eyes and ears, and given the Thai UAV has an endurance of 18 hours, what is the point of an airship.

Money and the military. Money pours in, pours out, and the grunts get the sh*tty end of it all.

 

Online Taman Tun

Re: Army in new bid to get its airship flying
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 08:59:51 PM »
The Army should bite the bullet and scrap this project.. When you are in a hole then stop digging.  The whole concept of the airship  seems flawed.  On top of that nothing on board works.  Even if they did get it up then they are still vulnerable to bows and arrows from the ground.
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Offline thaiga

Re: Airship crash hurts four
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 12:04:46 PM »
PATTANI: -- The Royal Thai Army's airship crashed yesterday while providing surveillance for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's visit to Pattani, falling from an altitude of 15 metres



Four crewmembers suffered minor injuries as they jumped from the aircraft before it hit the ground. The incident took place at around 3pm in a Pattani military camp as the airship was coming in for a landing.

As much as 50 per cent of the airship's body was damaged, a military spokesperson said. However, journalists and outsiders were prohibited from entering the crash site. The Fourth Army Region, which operates the airship, issued no comments.

Costing Bt350 million, the controversial airship was purchased around three years ago by the Army's then-chief Anupong Paochinda to provide surveillance in the South. Plagued with technical problems, the airship could not fly at a satisfactory altitude and was deemed too vulnerable for military operations.

Kept in a hangar in Pattani, it has flown only recently, making a surveillance flight last month during the Loy Krathong festival.

Around Bt25 million has been spent on upkeep and improvements to the airship, an A-40D Sky Dragon manufactured by the Worldwide Aeros Corporation. For a time, the airship was kept deflated, which caused leaks to develop. So Bt300,000 a month has been required to keep it filled with helium to prevent further leaks.

The Nation
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Offline nookiebear

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Re: Army in new bid to get its airship flying
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2012, 06:42:47 AM »
Bad weather has been cited as the cause for the 'Emergency Landing'
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