The Royal Thai Air Force has marked 10 years since ordering the Saab Gripen and notched up 10,000 flying hours. These milestones reflect an innovative approach to fighter operations in this region, and one that is rapidly evolving to meet future needs.


WHEN THE ROYAL Thai Air Force (RTAF) began researching a new fighter aircraft to replace its ageing F-5E Tiger IIs of Wing 7 at Surat Thani, it thought outside the box. Not only was it looking for a new shooter, but this forward-looking air arm also wanted the sensors and infrastructure to tie together a new net-centric aspiration. Traditionally a purchaser of US military hardware, Thailand had something of a scattergun approach, buying an unusual range of types to suit its diverse range of needs and to help court various allies.

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