New chief pledges to cut expenditure

New chief pledges to cut expenditure

Air force assistant commander-in-chief ACM Alongkorn Vannarot, left, in the cockpit of a C-130 transporter at the conclusion of a programme to boost transport aircraft capacity. (RTAF photo)
Air force assistant commander-in-chief ACM Alongkorn Vannarot, left, in the cockpit of a C-130 transporter at the conclusion of a programme to boost transport aircraft capacity. (RTAF photo)

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) will have to tighten its belt and maximise the utilisation of its existing resources, assistant air force chief ACM Alongkorn Vannarot said on Monday.

Speaking at an event to announce progress in the RTAF's transport aircraft upgrades, ACM Alongkorn -- who is due to take the helm at the RTAF on Friday -- said the move is meant to improve the air force's financial situation.

For instance, as the RTAF has successfully upgraded several of its C-130 aircraft, thus extending their operational life by 10 years, the air force will reconsider if it needs to acquire newer transport aircraft.

Starting in October last year, Thai Aviation Industries (TAI) Co began upgrading the air force's C-130 fleet by replacing older components with more modern ones, he said.

So far, eight aircraft have been fitted with new multi-function displays and an updated traffic collision avoidance system, as well as automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast systems.

The wings of these aircraft were also strengthened with new upper and lower rainbow fittings, he said, noting that the engines had undergone extensive checks and repairs in previous maintenance work.

These upgrades, along with the additional personnel training required to ensure the air force is able to maintain these aircraft, cost 500 million baht, according to an informed source.

In the next phase of upgrades, scheduled to be carried out during the next fiscal year starting on Oct 1, four more C-130s will be upgraded, said ACM Alongkorn.

ACM Alongkorn denied claims that the efficiency push is meant to facilitate the planned procurement of F-35 fighter jets from the United States, saying the F-35s will be acquired using a different budget.

The air force is known to be attempting to procure four F-35 fighter jets under a 13.8-billion-baht procurement plan that was approved by the cabinet on Jan 11.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (16)

Russia says oil price cap will not stop Ukraine offensive

MOSCOW: Russia shrugged off a Western-imposed price cap on its oil exports on Monday, warning that it would not disrupt its military campaign in Ukraine.

5 Dec 2022

Iran activists brush off claim morality police abolished

PARIS: Campaigners backing Iran's protest movement on Monday dismissed a claim that the Islamic republic is disbanding its notorious morality police, insisting there was no change to its restrictive dress rules for women.

5 Dec 2022

Singapore braces for fresh Covid wave, 'new variants of concern' from China

More Covid-19 infections and a new coronavirus wave are expected amid an increase in year-end travel and as more people take part in the festivities, but it will not be something that Singapore has not experienced, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said.

5 Dec 2022