Thailand to Decide on F-16 or Gripen Soonater


Thailand to Decide on F-16 or Gripen Soon

June 10,2024

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) will establish a selection committee this month to finalise a decision on whether the air arm would purchase the Swedish-made Saab JAS-39E Gripen or American-made Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 fighter jets.

According to the chief, Air Chief Marshal Phanpakdee Pattanakul, the plan is close to completion, but the RTAF would still considering further proposals for the best value. ACM Phanphakdee added that the RTAF working panel had visited both contending suppliers to discuss and hold workshops with.

Media reports in the kingdom have speculated that the Swedish offer is more attractive as it includes grants for military training and maintenance in addition to replacing the Erieye radar system currently on the RTAF’s Saab 340 airborne early warning aircraft (AEW&C).

The RTAF currently operates both types of the offered aircraft, as the USD530 million procurement programme is subject to House Committee approval for the 2025 fiscal year. The RTAF’s white paper highlighted the need to procure a new squadron of fighter aircraft in the following fiscal year, starting on the first day of October in addition to other development projects.-shp/adj/dl (Pix:USAF)