Thailand mulls buying more Swedish jet fighters

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Bangkok, May 12 (IANS) Thailand might buying four more Swedish jet fighters to add to a current squadron of 12 of the same type, Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong said on Thursday.

rajin, a former air force chief, said that he viewed the Saab JAS 39 Gripen multi-role combat aircraft as “technologically advanced” and suggested that his successor buy an additional four jets, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Thai air force currently deploys the 12 Swedish fighters at Air Wing 7 in the southern province of Surat Thani.

The Gripen squadron was procured in 2008 to replace the US’ ageing F-5 Tiger fighters.

“One fighter squadron should not just consist of a dozen aircraft and four more should be added to it,” said the deputy prime minister.

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The JAS 39 Gripen is currently estimated to cost $69 million apiece.

–IANS

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