Cochran, Wicker back helicopter sale to Thailand

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker are urging the government to approve the proposed sale of Mississippi-built Lakota helicopters to Thailand of Lakota Helicopters manufactured in Mississippi.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the government of Thailand’s request to buy six Lakota Helicopters with associated training and equipment. The estimated cost is $77 million.

Cochran and Wicker, both R-Miss., say the sale of these aircraft has the potential to benefit the United States’ relationship with an important ally and to enhance the reputation of Mississippi’s manufacturing capabilities.

The Lakota is manufacturer at the American Eurocopter plant at Golden Triangle Regional Airport near Columbus. It is primarily used by the Army for noncombat missions including emergency response, border security, and light transport.