Further updated: Colonel Blimps still want their blimp

27 09 2012

PPT sometimes finds it difficult to post on the shenanigans at the Army. Difficult because the silly duffers we call Colonel Blimps, who run the Army seem so dense that they repeatedly make themselves look like hopeless fools.

Perhaps the best case for this is on the continuing efforts to make their failed zeppelin fly. Even if they get it to fly it is still a standing joke.

The latest report, at the Bangkok Post, explains that 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.” They refer to a Sky Dragon that sags near the ground in an Army hangar.

The report states: “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.” The contractor is confident it can make the airship fly by November.

An earlier photo when the Sky Dragon was inflated and operated

Apparently, “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 airship has been unable to fly since its delivery about two years ago. The army  accepted the airship in July 2011 and is said to have cost the Army “about 25 million baht” to keep the zeppelin puffed up. Essentially, the airship, ordered during the tenure of former army chief Anupong Paojinda, doesn’t do anything but soak up taxpayer funds.

PPT has posted plenty on this sorry story – see here and here. The revealing part of this story is that the Army has gone back to Aria International. Long ago we linked to information on this company where we said:

Correspondent “Reg” [at Bangkok Pundit] then turns to the company involved and its website. He says: “Note its last stock trade was 1 cent. Have a look through the site and see if you have doubts about the company founded in mid-2008 and with 12 employees. How on earth did the RTA [Royal Thai Army] even know about them? It seems that one of the principals had previous experience with the RTA. According to their press releases, the RTA is their only client. It also seems that they are agents for the real manufacturers.”

We checked on them again today. As far as we can tell, the company no longer maintains a website, it has filed Form15 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, “voluntarily suspending its reporting obligations.”

As a result of filing the Form 15, the Company will no longer be required to file annual and quarterly reports with the SEC. The Company took this action in order to focus its resources on further developing and marketing its unique services. The Company’s common stock will continue to be eligible for public trading only now it will occur through the Pink Sheets (www.pinksheets.com) quotations system instead of the OTC Bulletin Board.

The last time we can see that the company’s shares were traded, it was for a fraction of a cent. It is no longer even a penny company! To be accurate, the last quoted close for the company was for one five-thousandth of a cent! There’s no recent news for the company.

So who is the Army paying?

Update 1: It seems the Army is reading PPT and is responding to our post above. A report at The Nation even continues the “blimp” terminology. The report states the the repairs are going to cost 50 million baht “for two foreign companies to repair and further equip its grounded airship in the South [stating it] was permitted because a maintenance agreement with the seller had expired.” It promises its zeppelin will fly by November…. Then, new, yes, new “optical surveillance and signal relaying equipment will be installed…”.

The Army says that the manufactured by Worldwide Aeros Corp (more here), is “one of the companies awarded the new contract.” Is the other the seemingly defunct Aria International?

Update 2: The Bangkok Post reports an “army source” as stating that the “airship supplier, Aria International Incorporated (AII), had lost contact with the army and had probably been dissolved.” We guess the company had much business other than that with the Thai military brass.


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13 12 2012
Army zeppelin crashes « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] waste of taxpayer funds. For a bit of a round-up of our previous posts on the so-called Sky Dragon, see our post that began: PPT sometimes finds it difficult to post on the shenanigans at the Army. Difficult […]

13 12 2012
Army zeppelin crashes « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] waste of taxpayer funds. For a bit of a round-up of our previous posts on the so-called Sky Dragon, see our post that began: PPT sometimes finds it difficult to post on the shenanigans at the Army. Difficult […]

20 02 2013
Blimps defalted everywhere « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Our last post on Sky Dragon mentioned its crash in Patani, during its first active operation. For a bit of a round-up of our previous posts on the blimp, its shady purchase and more, see this post. […]

20 02 2013
Blimps defalted everywhere « Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Our last post on Sky Dragon mentioned its crash in Patani, during its first active operation. For a bit of a round-up of our previous posts on the blimp, its shady purchase and more, see this post. […]

4 06 2018
Military wheeling and dealing | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the Sky Dragon purchase, we looked for information on the penny company involved with that waste of funds. We did the same with this […]

4 06 2018
Military wheeling and dealing | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] the Sky Dragon purchase, we looked for information on the penny company involved with that waste of funds. We did the same with this […]




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