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​Wing 7 recently invited over school children to take a look at the Air Base, understand military service and ask questions. 

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Image Courtesy: RTAF

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In the last four years, the Swedish, the Czech Republic, and the Hungarian Air Forces have successfully completed the MS20 upgrade to their Gripen fleet.  And now, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) is reportedly looking to upgrade its fleet of 11 Gripen C/Ds with the latest configuration. Their Gripens are currently configured to the MS19 version. 

The MS20 upgrade involves both software and hardware upgrade which would enhance Gripen’s air-to-ground target engagement by integrating electro-optical pods that will allow the jets to drop laser-guided bombs.

Along with an enhancement of Gripen’s air-to-ground target engagement ability, the MS20 configuration will also introduce new radar modes that will improve the fighter’s air-to-air target engagement even more. The upgrade will also add Boeing’s Small Diameter Bomb and MBDA’s Meteor beyond-visual-range-air-to-air-missile (BVRAAM).

According to another news report in Defense News​, RTAF however, would not need the integration of the NATO standard 16 datalink used by NATO and its partner nations. The RTAF’s Gripens will continue to run on Link T, which is the Thai military’s indigenous network.

"We are planning to upgrade the Gripens to the MS20 standard. We have seen the capabilities of the latest standard and it’s everything we need," says Group Captain Prachya Tippayarat, Deputy Commander of the RTAF's Wing 7 at Surat Thani Air Base. “However, no details on the timelines have been announced yet,” he adds.

It was in 2008 when an agreement was signed between ...

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Saab has been contracted to update Thailand’s national air command-and-control system (ACCS).

The upgrade will includes, among other things, new hardware and software enhancements that will expand the capabilities of ACCS for future operations.

ACCS is an integral part of network centric air defence capability. The system is based on Saab’s 9AIR C4I product and includes Gripen fighter, Erieye airborne early warning system and tactical data links.

The contract is set to run until 2020.

Read the full storyhere.

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RTAF Gripen has completed 10,000 flight hours now. The milestone was achieved at the Pitch Black 2018 exercise.

"We owe this success to our people, everyone who has been on duty with dedication," an RTAF Commander said.

It’s been ten years since the RTAF placed the order for the first time for the delivery of 6 Gripen fighters from Saab, back in February 2008. Deliveries began around 2011 for two single seaters (Gripen C) and four two seaters (Gripen D). They further ordered 6 more around 2010, which were delivered in two phases in 2013. 

Since then, Gripen has been a mainstay of the Royal Thai Air Force.

At the recently concluded Exercise Pitch Black, the fleet of Thai Gripen performed various drills and exercises alongside Air Force fleets of India, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, United States, and Singapore. 

One of the major goals of the exercise was to increase the combat readiness of the participating air forces. More than 4000 personnel and 140 aircraft participated in the exercise.

The exercise proved to be very fruitful for the RTAF pilots as they enhanced their knowledge and experience while dealing with new battle tactics and major, tactical, combat, modern weapons. Further, it strengthened their relationship with the other participating nations. 

For more information of RTAF Gripen’s participation at Pitch Black 2018, click here.

Image Courtesy: RTAF

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SKY'S THE LIMIT

Enabled by the latest available technology, Gripen gives the Royal Thai Air Force South Asias’s most agile swing-role fighter aircraft.

Photo. Katsuhiko Tokunaga ​​

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“Gripen will be a revolution,” says Brazilian Senator Ana Amélia Lemos on her recent visit to the FAB office.

"Even though I was a layman, I was able to recognise a key criteria in the choice of the Swedish plane: technology transfer. People often do not understand the importance of technological development in defence, but we should,” she said.

In October 2014, Saab signed a contract with Brazil to develop 36 Gripen E/F fighters for the Brazilian Air Force. And the most decisive factor for Brazil to go with Saab was its transfer of technology (ToT) offer. The ToT program currently is divided into 50 projects and covers theoretical training, research, and technology programmes. It also includes on-the-job training in Sweden, and production and development work. 

Read the full story here

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On 15 February 2018, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) celebrated Wing 7's 36th birthday. ACM Jom Rungsawang, Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Air Force, and Group Captain and Chief of the Air Force Wife Association, Koranun Rungsawang, attended the event. 

Flying displays by six Gripen fighters and three Saab 340s marked the celebrations.

In his speech, ACM Jom talked about Wing 7's successful operations, Gripen and Saab 340 AEW acquisitions, and RTAF's integrated air defence system.

RTAF declared he Gripen Integrated Air Defense System commissioned as a fully operational part of the air force at its home base, Wing 7 in 2013. At the ceremony to announce the integeration, personnel from all three military branches were in attendance, symbolising what the new system stood for: integrated defense operations.

Wing 7 operates 12 Gripen fighters. It received its first batch of six Gripen fighters in February 2011.

Read the full story here.

Image Courtesy: RTAF

Gripen's aerial display was one of the major highlights of the Singapore Airshow 2018. Besides the aerial display, an RTAF Gripen was also there for a static display.

​A Royal Thai Air Force Gripen fighter has been sent to Singapore for participation at the Singapore Airshow this week. Royal Thai Air Force Chief and  Deputy Commander, Flight 7, Nattawut Luang Sungnoen, will be performing the aerial displays.

One of the biggest airshows in Asia, the Singapore airshow started in 2008 and is held after every two years.

The show starts today and will be held till 11 February.​ Below are some snapshots from the preparations.

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Image Courtesy: RTAF

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Saab will exhibit Gripen and a comprehensive range of Gripen support products and services at the upcoming Singapore Air Show.

Visitors can also take a look at the Arexis self-protection concept for Gripen at the Saab stand D11.

Besides Gripen, Saab will showcase its other products like GlobalEye, Swordfish, RBS 70NG, and Giraffe 1X as well.

Gripen fighters from the Royal Thai Air Force have been scheduled for both static and flying display during the show.

The Singapore Airshow will be held between 6 and 11 February. The airshow will be open to the public on 10 and 11 February.

Know more about Saab’s participation at the Singapore Airshow 2018 here.

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