Tech transfer part of jet fighter buy
Air force expects know-how sharing
The transfer of technology is one of the conditions for the Royal Thai Air Force's procurement of jet fighters, according to TAF spokesman AVM Prapas Sornchaidee.
He said the air force's panel studying the jet procurement plan has listed the transfer of technical know-how as part of the offset policy for the fighter jet purchase agreement.
The air force expects the supplier to provide scholarships and training as well as transfer technology in several areas including stealth technology, the use of AI in threat assessment and analysis, target weaponeering, electronic warfare (EW) and access to the EW library, he said.
He noted these technologies are considered advanced military know-how that is tightly regulated by the supplier country but insisted the technology transfer would be part of the purchase programme.
He said the new jets will strength the nation's air defence capabilities and boost its force's security cooperation with other countries in the region, while also creating opportunities for the country to develop its defence industry.
The scheme has received cabinet backing and is scheduled to start in the next fiscal year with a budget of 13.8 billion baht set aside to procure four aircraft.
The force is eyeing fifth-generation fighters, described as having five core features -- stealth along with supercruise, sensor fusion and super manoeuvrability, in addition to synergistic integrated avionics.
Air force commander ACM Napadej Dhupatemiya in December expressed an interest in procuring eight F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin of the United States.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the air force chief is attending a Pacific Air Forces (Pacaf) meeting in Hawaii from March 7 to 13. He is scheduled to meet the Pacaf commander and the jet acquisition scheme is expected to be raised during the visit.