First Flight for Royal Thai Air Force's new Gripen fighter aircraft
The Royal Thai Air Force has now commenced flights from the new Gripen base in Surat Thani in southern Thailand.
The first flight on the morning of 15 March was completed by Squadron Commander Jackkrit Thammavichai, with Claes Wikström from the Swedish Air Force sitting in the rear seat of the Gripen D.
The first six Gripen C/D fighters arrived to the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) and their new home base at Wing 7 in Surat Thani in southern Thailand on 22 February.
The six Gripen fighters are part of an intergovernmental business transaction where FMV, the Swedish Defence Material Administration, representing the Government of Sweden, supplies an integrated air-defence system based on products manufactured by Saab. The new air-defence system consists of Gripen, the Airborne Early Warning system Saab 340 Erieye AEW and a command & control system.
In preparation for the delivery of the Gripen fighters, pilots and ground crew from the Royal Thai Air Force have been trained in Sweden during 2010.
Source: saabgroup - March 17, 2011