RTAF Saab 39 fighter aircraft (photo : Saabgroup)
Following the news that Royal Thai Air Force has purchased the Gripen fighter aircrafts, four Thai pilots have now completed the 11-week Gripen control training course by Swedish Armed Force. Swedish Air Force Commander Major General Micael Byden recently handed certifications to the four pilots who will be based in Wing 7 division in Surathani province in Thailand.
The four Thai pilots were trained both in theory and practice in Gripen simulator.
They are the third lot from Royal Thai Air Force to enter the training. Last year six Thai pilots were sent to train at Skaraborg Wing, F 7, which is the base of JAS 39 Gripen, located in the south of Sweden for six months.
The first lot of Thai pilots was sent to train in Sweden for a year in 2010, where the programs included Air Defence and Ground-Attack trainings. They trained in Gripen simulator as well as in real Gripen aircrafts, reported Manager.co.th.
Royal Thai Air Force is the first air force in Southeast Asia to have JAS 39 Gripen base. Thailand has entered ‘Gripen Users’ Group which consists of six nations including Hungary, South Africa, Czech Republic, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The air force has ordered 12 Gripen fighter aircrafts in 2008. Six of them were delivered in February last year.