Thailand, which for three years relied on China for much of its military hardware, is turning to the United States for tanks and helicopters.

Army chief Gen. Suchinda Kraprayoon was quoted by local newspapers Saturday as saying Thailand would buy 50 Bell 412-SP helicopters worth $330 million.In April the army announced it was buying 300 used U.S. tanks. Military officials said the first batch of the 50 M-60s and 250 M-48 A5s would arrive later this year.

The deals would quadruple the army's battle tanks and double its helicopter fleet.