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Thai Air Force inducts Gripen fighters

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BANGKOK (BNS): The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has officially declared its new air defence system consisting of six Gripen fighters and a Saab 340 Erieye Airborne Early Warning (AEW) operational during a ceremony at its Wing 7 base in Surat Thani.

Thailand received six Gripen C/D multi-role fighters from Swedish firm Saab in February this year under a 2008 contract.

The deal, inked between Sweden’s Defence Materiel Administration and the RTAF, also included one Saab 340 Erieye AEW, a single Saab 340 aircraft for transport purposes and a ground based command-and control system.

The first Saab 340 Erieye AEW and the Saab 340 transport aircraft were delivered to the air force in December 2010.

The Thai pilots and technicians received training from the Swedish Armed Forces (SwAF) in 2009 to operate the new aircraft before their delivery.

In 2010, Thailand ordered six more Gripen C fighters and another Saab 340 Erieye AEW.

Deliveries of the second RTAF order will be completed in 2013, according to Saab.

The new Gripens are replacing the RTAF’s US-made F-5 fighters.

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Thailand  RTAF  Gripen  Saab  
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