Time constraints prevent US sale of F-35 fighter jets: RTAF
published : 25 May 2023 at 11:23
writer: Wassana Nanuam
The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has provided an explanation as to why the United States is not selling its F-35 fighter jets to Thailand at this time.
There were several time constraints that prevented the US from supplying its fifth-generation fighter jets to the Thai air force following the request for procurement, RTAF spokesman AVM Prapas Sonjaidee said on Thursday.
He said the US requires a minimum of 10 years to process its supply of F-35A jets to a new buying country before delivery. The buying country needs to install specific infrastructures, training and security systems as per the requirements, as these jets were designed with new technical and operational concepts and possess stealth capability, he added.
In addition, the logistic, inventory and management systems for F-35A jets differ from those of the F-16 jets, making it impossible for the two types of fighter jets to share infrastructures, he said.
According to the spokesman, the US has expressed its intention to discuss necessary preparations for future supply of F-35A jets to the RTAF with Thai authorities.
The US has also proposed that the RTAF consider purchasing its 4.5th-generation fighter jets, namely F-16 and F-15 fighter jets, which can be delivered sooner and meet the air force's requirements, AVM Prapas said.
He emphasised on the air force's need to replace its old F-16 jets, which are approaching decommissioning.