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Thai Air Chief Recommends Choosing Swedish Jets Over US' F-16s - Reports

© AP Photo / Anders WiklundThe new E version of the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen multi role fighter being rolled out at SAAB in Linkoping, Sweden
The new E version of the Swedish JAS 39 Gripen multi role fighter being rolled out at SAAB in Linkoping, Sweden - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.07.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Thailand's air chief has recommended that the Southeast Asian nation choose Swedish fighter jets for its air fleet over rival US F-16s, the Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday, citing a military source.
Royal Thai air force commander Phanphakdee Phatthanakul sent information on Swedish Gripen E/F and US F-16 Block 70 jets for comparison to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Defense Minister Sutin Klungsang, who will make the final decision.
The Thai air fleet has both Gripens and F-16s. It reportedly plans to replace 12 aging F-16s which are nearing the end of their service life.
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Over the past months, both Sweden and the United States have been actively promoting their fighter jets in meetings with Thai partners at all levels, the daily said.
Klungsang plans to visit the US soon at the invitation of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Last week, the US ambassador to Thailand informed the minister of an arms loan that Washington was willing to provide to the country, but Klungsang told reporters he was concerned about the high interest rate on the loan.
Thailand has a history of buying US military equipment, but it has been seeking to diversify military purchases since the 1990s, sourcing hardware, equipment and ammunition from Spain, China, Sweden, Canada and Russia.
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