After the US recently refused to sell F-35A fighter jets to the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), the RTAF has reportedly modified its plans and will now seek to acquire the aircraft from Sweden.
According to a source, the RTAF aims to procure three additional Gripen jet fighters from Sweden to add to its fleet in Wing 7 in Surat Thani province after losing one in a crash. The air force had previously bought 12 Gripens, which cost about 2 billion baht each.
Additionally, Sweden will not only provide the air force with the desired fighter jets but will also upgrade a radar system.
The radar system, which has been in service for a decade, will undergo a major update at an estimated cost of 4 billion baht, according to a source.
The source further revealed that the RTAF’s commander-in-chief, ACM Alongkorn Wannarot, has not yet formed a panel to assess and choose the successor to the kingdom’s F-16 fighter jets, which have served for three decades.
Despite the United States’ suggestion for the RTAF to consider acquiring 4.5-generation fighter jets like the F-16 Block 70 and F-15, the current budget for the fiscal year 2024 falls short of the amount required to enter into a contractual agreement for such a procurement.