Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Air Force Chief to Test Fly Gripen

20 Januari 2011

RTAF's JAS-39 Gripen (photo : RTAF)

Air force commander Itthaporn Subbawong says he is looking forward to personally test flying the first six Gripen jet fighters, which are due to arrive next month.

ACM Itthaporn said on Tuesday the six Swedish-made Gripen fighters will be delivered on Feb 23. The jets will be stationed at the Wing 7 air force base in Surat thani province.

‘’As a fighter pilot I want to make test flights of the fighters, but the test flights will not be made until after the delivery of the aircraft is approved,’’ said the air force chief.

ACM Itthaporn earlier flew on test flights of Gripen fighters in Sweden. At the time he was air force deputy chief-of-staff. The air force later decided to purchase 12 Gripen fighters at a cost of almost 40 billion baht.

Meanwhile, an army source said 10 Ukrainian-made armoured personnel carriers (APCs) will arrive at U-tapao airfield in Rayong province on Jan 24. The APCs will be stationed at the 2nd Infantry Division (King’s Guards) in Prachin Buri province.

(Bangkok Post)

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