The Royal Thai Air Force on Thursday 10 September celebrated 5,000 hours of flying the Saab JAS39 Gripen. The aircraft has been in Thai service for well over four years now, operated by 701st squadron ‘Sharks’, part of the 7th wing at Surat Thani airbase.
The Thai Gripen deal was signed in 2008. The first of twelve JAS39C/D Gripens were flown to Thailand in February 2011, with the last arriving two years later. Thailand is the only Asian country operating the Saab jet. Other Gripen operators are Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South Africa and, starting 2019, Brazil.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): A Royal Thai Air Force JAS39C Gripen in much colder conditions than its Thai habitat. This pictures was taken in Sweden in June 2012. (Image © Elmer van Hest)