Thai air force set to sign MoU on military equipment with Sweden

Thai air force set to sign MoU on military equipment with Sweden

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) welcomed the Swedish ambassador as well as the president and CEO of Saab AB, a Swedish defence and security company, to discuss a Memorandum of Understanding for military equipment.

Deputy spokesman for the Defence Ministry, Col Jittanat Punnothok, revealed that Deputy Defence Minister Gen Chaicharn Changmongkol met the Swedish ambassador, HE Jon Astrom Grondahl, along with Saab AB's CEO Micael Johansson at the ministry.

Col Jittanat said the talks built on the significance of the 155-year relationship between Thailand and Sweden as the two countries have worked together for a long time on education, technology, the environment, energy, wastewater treatment, space technology and defence.

Thailand and Sweden agreed to conduct joint Cobra Gold military exercises and sign an MoU on military equipment maintenance to enhance the Thai army's capability, he said.

Gen Chaicharn expressed his appreciation that Saab AB exhibited its weapons at a Defence and Security event last year which attracted a large number of entrepreneurs.

A source speculated that the visit by the Swedish ambassador and the Saab AB CEO could potentially signal a purchase by the RTAF to renew its Erieye radar system installed in its Saab 340, a Swedish airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft.

The source revealed that the Erieye radar system is close to expiring as the RTAF has used the Saab 340 AEW for over 10 years.

The estimated cost for reinstallation is 4.5 billion baht.

Moreover, many have anticipated that the RTAF might purchase Gripen combat aircraft from Saab AB if the United States refuses to sell F-35 fighter jets to Thailand, the source added.

The RTAF is awaiting the US's decision on the purchase bid.

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