US declines Thai F-35 bid, presents F-16 and F-15 jets instead

The United States Department of Defense has informally declined Thailand’s request to purchase F-35 fighter jets, in accordance with a Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) supply. Instead, the US has offered F-16 Block 70 and F-15 E Strike Eagle fighter jets as alternate options.
The Pentagon’s decision was announced by Robert F Gordec, the US ambassador to Thailand, throughout a gathering with ACM Alongkorn Wannarot, the air force commander-in-chief, at the RTAF headquarters in Don Mueang two weeks ago. The ambassador cited the US Department of State’s opinion that the RTAF may not yet have the required infrastructure facilities for the F-35s, including airbase security, airfields, upkeep, pilots, and other personnel.
Gordec explained that it might require a significant amount of time and finances for the RTAF to be totally ready for the F-35s. However, the US didn’t fully reject Thailand’s request and would rethink it when the RTAF is ready, probably throughout the next five to ten years, reported Bangkok Post.
In the meantime, the US has offered to promote F-16 Block 70 and F-15 E Strike Eagle fighters to Thailand. The official response to the RTAF’s F-35 acquisition bid is predicted in July. If the request is formally denied, the RTAF will have to return 369.1 million baht (US$11.6 million) or an advance fee of 5% approved by the House of Representatives to the state.
Bootleg revealed that the RTAF is contemplating shopping for another fleet of Gripen fighter jets from Sweden’s Saab AB. The air pressure had previously purchased a fleet of 12 Gripen fighters, which were based mostly at Wing 7 in Surat Thani, however misplaced one in a crash..

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