Thailand’s Defence Ministry has approved the air force’s plan to buy six more Grippen fighters next fiscal year, completing a squadron of the Swedish-made jets.
Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan said the procurement, to be spaced over five years, would be allocated from the Air Force’s budget and not burden government spending, reported The Nation Online News.
The military budget in Thailand have been steadily increasing in arms purchases and other expenditures since 2006. Over the past three budget years, the allocation for defence has reportedly doubled from 85 billion baht in 2006 to 167 billion baht in 2009. The budget allocation for internal security also shot up from 77 billion baht to 114 billion during the same period.