The Royal Thai Air Force is retiring its three remaining Israeli Aircraft Industries Arava light patrol aircraft, according to the Air Force Commander in the Bangkok Post. The military is now opting to create two squadrons of drones in stead, boosting its surveillance capability.
The IAI 201 Arava’s have served Thailand for more than 36 years, currently flying as ELINT aircraft with 402 Squadron based at Takhli. Between 1972 and 1998 the Israelis built 103 of these light Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) aircraft. Despite its small size it can transport 24 combat-ready troops in the transport role, as a surveillance platform it is a very affordable asset with low usage costs.
The Israeli Air Force retired its Aravas already in 2004.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: An IAI Arava somewhat similar to the one in use by the Royal Thai Air Force. (Image (CC) Bob Woolnough)