Flying Forward With Swedish Fighting Planes

Royal Thai Air Force Commander in Chief Ithiporn Supawong is leading a Thai Government delegation to Sweden to participate in the second meeting of the Thai-Swedish Joint Steering Committee for the Gripen aircraft purchasing project.

The meeting being held in Stockholm from 16-22 August, will discuss preparations for the delivery of six Gripen multirole fighter aircraft of the latest version and a surveillance system to the Royal Thai Airforce (RTAF) at the beginning of next year.

Discussions will be made in three levels namely governmental, air force and operational. Air Chief Marshal Ithiporn Supawong heads the Thai governmental team while Chief of Air Staff Prajin Jantong leads the RTAF team and Director of Logistics Air Vice Marshal Adisak Chermwattana leads the operational team.

This is the second governmental level meeting of the joint steering committee after the first one was held in Bangkok. Leading the Swedish government representatives in the current discussion is Director General of the Defence Materiel Administration Gunnar Holmgren while Air Commodore Arne Heden represents the Swedish air force.

The discussions at the three levels will be observed by parliamentary representatives and members of related Thai government units. The Gripen fighters will replace the aging F5 B/E fighters of the RTAF which have been commissioned since the 1970s.

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