Thailand shows off Gripen fleet in elephant walk

The Royal Thai Air Force’s (RTAF’s) 7 Wing released pictures on November 11 of its resident Saab JAS-39C/D Gripen multi-role fighters conducting an elephant walk at Surat Thani air base in southern Thailand.

Images of the elephant walk were posted onto the wing’s official Facebook page, @wing7RTAF, and can be viewed in the gallery below. The elephant walk was conducted to demonstrate the large-scale mobilisation of aircraft to protect Thailand’s airspace and waters. The demonstration included the RTAF’s entire Gripen fleet, which is operated solely by 701 Squadron, along with a single Saab 340 Erieye airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft from 702 Squadron.

The RTAF has operated the multi-role fighter since February 2011 and employs 11 examples in total, comprising seven single-seat JAS-39Cs and four two-seat JAS-39Ds. Thailand has operated two Saab 340 Erieye aircraft from Surat Thani air base since December 2010. The RTAF announced in early 2020 that it intends to upgrade these aircraft to allow them to perform a wider airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) mission.

Check out the stunning images below: