Home > Local News > Thailand bought 12 fighter jets from Sweden, 6 arrived, another 6 are on the way

Thailand bought 12 fighter jets from Sweden, 6 arrived, another 6 are on the way

Thai Pilots itching to fly latest Gripens, seen as a new force in the region
After a
long wait for the much-heralded Swedish-made Gripen jet fighters to be
commissioned, Royal Thai Air Force pilots are now itching to fly the
new aircraft that will replace vintage F-5 fighters.

The Gripen,
with the designated code of JAS-39 C/D, has technological advantages 30
years ahead of even the US-made F-16 fighters, the newest aircraft in
the RTAF, according to Wing Cmdr Natthawut Duangsoongnern.

of six pilots who underwent the basic flight course on the Gripen,
Natthawut said: “The RTAF’s addition of Gripen is a significant
addition to air power in the region.”

full use of its support systems, including weaponry and air defence,
Gripen is regarded as a fighter of the future, said Natthawut, who with
five other pilots was selected from more than 20 with F-5 and F-16
flying experience.

Wing Cmdr Jakkrit Thammawichai is commander
of Wing 701 in Surat Thani where the first six Gripen will be
stationed. He said another six Gripen jets and their support systems
would be handed to Thailand later.

Four of the fighters are
two-seaters for training, while the other eight, the C model, are
one-seaters.The RTAF purchase of Gripens provides not only the fighter
jets, but also an entire support system that includes technology
transfer and scholarship and supplementary training in advanced

With real-time data links through encryption among
all jets, the Gripen is superior to other fighters that have equivalent
technology, meaning that the Gripen can fight or defeat enemy fighters
at a ratio of one to four, or even one to eight.

“This well explains why we don’t need to employ them in large numbers,” he said.

deployment of mainly US-made fighters, in which technology regarding
electronics warfare has been classified, Gripen offers open training
including electronic countermeasures.

“This means we can stand
on our own in terms of mastering difficult and advanced technologies.
This is a great leap forward for the RTAF,” he said.

The six pilots will train another four after they fully complete entire courses.

Via Khmerization
Source: The Nation
Categories: Local News
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