Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sweden to sell 6 jets to Thailand

The Swedish government has approved a deal to sell six Gripen-JAS fighter jets to Thailand, replacing some of that country's aging U.S. warplanes.

The deal, to be handled by the Swedish Defense Material Administration, is valued at 3.8 billion kronor ($588 million), and includes the radar surveillance system Erieye, the Swedish government said in a statement.

The administration is an independent, civil authority that provides Sweden's armed forces with material and systems and represents the government in certain international deals.

Delivery of the JAS 39 fighter jets is planned for the beginning of 2011, when Thailand winds up its current fleet of U.S. F-5 warplanes that have been in its arsenal for three decades.

Thailand has made a number of military purchases recently, including armored personnel carriers from Ukraine, assault rifles from Israel and surface-to-surface missiles from China.

Swedish Defense Minister Sten Tolgfors said he was pleased about the deal, adding that "the Gripen system is very cost-efficient and I can happily confirm an increased international interest for acquisition."

The sale still needs approval from the Swedish Inspectorate of Strategic Products.

No comments: