Thailand receives Gripen fighters

Feb. 24, 2011 at 7:51 AM

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The Swedish Defense Materiel Administration announced delivery this week of six SAAB Gripen fighter aircraft to the Thai air force.

The arrival of the fighters follows the delivery of the first parts of the air defense systems Sweden and Thailand agreed on in 2008.

"We have now successfully delivered a complete air defense system," said Arne Heden, head of Gripen Thailand at the Swedish agency. "Swedish pilots and technicians will now help Thailand to start using the system."

Under a 2008 agreement, six Gripens with associated equipment and services, a Saab 340 aircraft with airborne radar surveillance system, a Saab 340 for transport and education and an integrated command-and-control system with data links was to be delivered to Thailand.

The agreement contained provisions for extensive logistical support, training for pilots and technicians and flight simulators.

Last November the Swedish agency said signed an agreement with Thailand for six more Gripens, another 340 with Erieye radar and Swedish RB 15F missiles.

Delivery will take place in 2012 and 2013.

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