Air Force eyes 12-jet deal
Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon will seek cabinet approval Tuesday for the purchase of an additional eight supersonic T-50 jet trainers worth 8.8 billion baht from South Korea, a government source said.
The purchase will be financed by the dedicated budget of the Royal Thai Air Force over the next three years, he said. The air force planned to seal the deal for the aircraft in Korea, tentatively on July 29, with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), said the source.
The Royal Thai Air Force ordered four of the T-50TH supersonic trainers in 2015 for $110 mill1ion (currently 3.72 billion baht), with deliveries due by 2018.
The contract was signed Sept 17, 2015, amidst reports the air force would eventually order 24 of the Korean-made aircraft.
The new aircraft would replace the L-39 trainer jets which will be decommissioned.
The T-50, developed by KAI and the US's Lockheed Martin and introduced in 2005, is a multi-role aircraft and can be equipped with a 20-millimetre cannon, rockets and missiles.
It has a maximum speed of 1,838kph and a range of 1,850km.