Thailand is taking an active step to modernizing its air forces. In January 2022, it was reported that the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) intends to buy eight F-35 fighter jets in order to update its current fleet of F-5 and F-16 aircraft, some of which have been in use for more than 30 years.
Moreover, the RTAF has expressed interest in Loyal Wingman operations, where unmanned aerial vehicles with weapons systems are capable of providing support to manned aircraft. In October 2020, the RTAF awarded a USD 162 million contract for a dozen of Beechcraft T-6TH Texan II training aircraft. RTAF also announced a USD 143 million purchase of eight Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine aircraft, making the Southeast Asian country the first international customer for the US Air Force’s light attack aircraft.
In another key development that took place in January 2022, Thailand’s cabinet backed a plan to buy four fighter jets for USD 414 million set aside for the procurement for a four-year period starting in 2023.
(Sources: Reuters; Flying.com)