Thai Air Force Seeks Budget For New Fighters

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Thai Air Force Seeks Budget For New Fighters
Thai Air Force is pursuing a $538 million budget from the state budget to replace ageing fighter jets with new ones.

As reported by Bloomberg, Thai officials from the Air Force are considering two options: U.S.-made F-16 Block 70 and Sweden’s Gripen-E. Thailand is using the older versions of both fighter jets; thus, these options are no surprise.

In 2023, Thailand requested F-35A Lightning II fifth-generation fighter jets as well. However, the reaction from the U.S. was mostly negative. This negativity can be attributed to Thailand’s cooperation with China on defence, such as acquiring Chinese platforms for the Marines and joint drills. The U.S. can be expected to have concerns regarding the hijacking of the F-35’s technology by Chinese personnel.

If the U.S. and Sweden react negatively simultaneously for the same reason, Thailand might opt for Chinese fighter jets such as the J-10C and potentially the newer J-31. The latter is a follow-up to the J-20 fighter jet, one that China is more relaxed about exporting.

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