RTAF launches 'Falcon Strike 2022'

RTAF launches 'Falcon Strike 2022'

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) launched a 12-day joint air exercise, codenamed Falcon Strike 2022, with its Chinese counterpart in Udon Thani yesterday.

The drills, which will take place until Aug 25, are meant to improve both nations’ capacities for joint air operations, said RTAF spokesman VM Prapas Sonjaidee.

The exercises will also deepen ties between the nations’ military forces, which will help safeguard peace and security in the region, the spokesman added.

China will deploy six J-10C/S fighter jets, a JH-7AI bomber and a Shaanxi KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft for the exercises, a source said, adding Su-27 fighter jets will not be involved in the drills.

Meanwhile, the RTAF will deploy five Gripen aircraft, three Alphajet attack aircraft and a SAAB 340 AEW early warning and control aircraft.

US-made F16 jets will not participate in the exercises, said the source.

The exercise is the fifth of its kind since 2015.

The previous round of joint exercises with China was held in 2019, which was also organised at Udon Thani’s Wing 23.

Falcon Strike 2022 is one of several bilateral joint exercises that Thailand’s air force has agreed to take part in.

Other notable drills include the Cope Tiger exercise involving Singaporean and US air forces, the Thai-Malay LandEx Thamal war games, the Thai-Indonesian Elang Thainesia exercises and the Thai-Australian drills codenamed Thai Boomerang. 

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