The Royal Thai Air Force’s 2023 3.69-billion-baht budget for purchasing F-35 fighter jets has been approved by the 2023 Budget Committee on Wednesday, August 3rd.
Local media reported this afternoon that the committee has approved the procurement of the fighter jets from the United States by 45 to 22 votes. However, the Air Force could only proceed with the purchase if they agree to the reduction of the budget from the proposed 738 million baht to 369 million baht.
The Force will also be prohibited from conducting any budget changes. And if the US Congress did not approve the purchase, the Royal Thai Air Force must return the budget.
Late yesterday afternoon, Commander-in-Chief Marshal Napadej Dhupatemiya stated that he would like to thank the 2023 Budget Committee for approving the budget of the procurement project and concording with the importance of the Air Force and its mission to defend the country.
“We’d assure the committee and the public that the budget would be carried out in the most efficient way and we’d do our best to make the procurement process transparent and verifiable,” the officer added.