“New to this year’s show is that we are presenting Gripen E, which I am really thrilled about and confident it will attract some great attention,” says Fredrik Lindblom, Head of Saab Thailand.
Thailand is an existing Gripen operator and has 11 of those aircraft leased from Saab. The lease model will enable Bangkok to trade in the older Gripens for the all-new jets.
As per reports published earlier this year, Thailand intended to purchase Gripen fighters, aiming to replace its Lockheed Martin F-16A/B squadron in the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF). Initially, it sought F-35s from the U.S., but the request was denied, citing insufficient infrastructure. The U.S. suggested F-16V Block 70 or F-15 aircraft, but the FY2024 budget might not comply, leading Thailand to consider alternatives like the Gripen. Local media reports indicate Thailand's preference for the Gripen based on operational experience. Additionally, the RTAF plans to upgrade the Gripen fleet radars.