MOSCOW, August 3. (ARMS-TASS). Delayed delivery of second installment fighter JAS-39 "Grip" the Swedish company SAAB will require modernization of structural components and avionics consisting armed Thai Air Force combat aircraft, the "Jane's Defense Weekly, referring to the representative of the Air Force Command.
In June, the Air Force in Thailand announced their intention to defer for up to two years the purchase of six fighter JAS-39 "Grip" because of the reduction of defense budget because of the economic crisis.
Air Force expects that the delay would lead to the need to modernize some 55 fighter aircraft operating F-16A / B and up to 16 aircraft F-5E, which are armed with the country since the late 1980's and since the late 1970's., Respectively. Previously, the allocation of funds for modernization in the mid-life has been problematic, but in these circumstances, improvements in aircraft will be needed to extend their lifetime.
Initially, the modernization of F-16 scheduled to take place about 10 years ago, but the project was never realized. At the same time in the last decade has been improved part of the F-5.
In the case of approval of funding the Government, the modernization of F-16 could begin within the next 18 months. The most likely participants in the program of Singapore Technology Engineering and IAI with the support of the public "Tai Aviation Industries.
Works to improve F-5 is most likely to be fulfilled the Israeli company Elbit, which in 2002 was awarded a contract worth 70 million dollars for the supply of BREO and upgrades of several aircraft structural elements of the Air Force in Thailand.
The Government of Thailand in October 2007 announced the decision to purchase 12 multi-country Air Force fighter aircraft JAS-39 "Grip" in order to replace the outdated fleet of F-5E, as well as two aircraft DRLOiU Saab-340, equipped with "Eriay. The total cost of the project, together with related equipment and services valued at 34.4 billion baht (1.1 billion dollars). According to the decision of the Government, the procedure for the acquisition was divided into two phases.
In accordance with the terms signed in February 2008 with SAAB by the agreements in the first phase of the Air Force in Thailand will have 6 aircraft JAS-39 "Grip" (four double version "D" and two singles "C"), together with the plane 1 'Saab-340 with complex DRLOiU "Eriay" 1 plane "Saab-340, designed for training and transportation of personnel, as well as management and control systems, which will connect the aircraft with fighter DRLOiU" Grip. " The full cost of the agreement is 19 billion baht (531 million USD), which must be paid within five years from 2008 to 2012. The goal is that the supply of aircraft and equipment will begin in late 2010 - early 2011. Education in Sweden pilots due to commence in the current year.
The contract also includes logistics, the supply of simulators, training pilots and technical personnel of the Air Force in Thailand, Sweden. Sweden will also ensure the presence of Swedish pilots and technicians in Thailand for the "Gripenov and Eriay" in operation.
During the second phase was planned to place the remaining 6 and a second fighter aircraft DRLOiU, along with related equipment and spare parts at a cost of 14.8 billion baht (415.5 million USD) to be paid from 2013 to 2017 he worked. It was expected that in the case of all the options, squadron JAS-39 "Grip" will be fully operational in 2015.