Flyin’ high with Gripen: RTAF eyes Swedish jets amidst F-35A snub

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is considering the acquisition of three Gripen jet fighters from Sweden, following the United States’ latest refusal to sell F-35A fighter jets. The plan is to add these jets to the RTAF fleet in Wing 7, positioned in Surat Thani.
The RTAF Gripen fighters are an integral a half of the nation’s air drive, with 12 of these advanced Swedish jets at present stationed at Wing 7 in Surat Thani, nonetheless, with one plane having been previously lost in an accident. Each of the Swedish jets carries a price ticket of roughly 2 billion baht.
Furthermore, Sweden is expected to replace a radar system used by the RTAF, which is predicted to value around four billion baht. This system has been in service for a decade and is ready for an upgrade.
A panel to review and select appropriate fighter plane for changing Thailand’s F-16 fighter jets has not yet been fashioned by RTAF commander-in-chief ACM Alongkorn Wannarot. These planes have been in service for over three decades.
Despite the US making recommendations for the RTAF to amass 4.5-generation fighter jets, such as the F-16 block 70 and F-15 aircraft, budget constraints for the fiscal 12 months 2024 make it unimaginable to decide to such procurements.
The US believes that four.5-generation fighter jets would be appropriate for the RTAF in preparation for future purchases of F-35As. However, the process of supplying F-35A jets to a new purchaser can take a minimal of 10 years, together with the mandatory installations of particular infrastructure, training facilities, and security techniques. The F-35A jets include new technical and operational concepts, together with stealth capabilities, making sharing infrastructure with the prevailing F-16 methods inconceivable.
The determination on RTAF Gripen jets shall be reviewed by a model new commander-in-chief, who is set to be appointed on October 1, reported Bangkok Post.
In Quick , the RTAF has justified its purchase of steering prolonged range kits from South Korea, totalling 50 million baht. This acquisition is a half of the RTAF’s ongoing efforts to boost its capabilities and preserve operational effectiveness within the region..

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