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Thailand expresses interest in the F-35

13th October 2021 - 02:05 GMT | by Sompong Nondhasa in Bangkok

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Thailand has expressed interest in the high-tech but also expensive F-35A fighter. (US DoD)

Thailand wants to maintain its status as a leading air force in Southeast Asia, but to do that it needs new fighters.

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is looking for a fighter to replace its F-16 fleet as it nears the end of its lifespan and is gradually decommissioned. The new RTAF commander has shown interest in the F-35.

ACM Napadej Thupatemi, who took up his post on 1 October, commented that the RTAF should think about having a better aircraft than those it presently has. If the country can maintain an adequate defence budget, he believes a stealthy fighter like the F-35A conforms to the needs of the RTAF.

Thai F-16 ADF jets have been in service since 2002, and …

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