Swedish-made Jas 39C Gripen fighter jet crashed during a Children’s Day air show in Songkhla province of Thailand, on Saturday. The pilot was killed.
Sqn Ldr Dilokrit Pattavee was killed when the Gripen fighter jet crashed on a runway at Wing 56 during the air show at around 9.27am while performing a surprise attack maneuver in Hat Yai, Songkhla province
Thai Air Force spokesman Pongsak Semachai said a committee would be set up to investigate into the cause.
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The JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft was reportedly offered to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) as the Swedish firm, Saab, opened an office in Manila last year.
Saab’s executive vice-president in the Asia Pacific, Carl-Erik Leek said the primary target in the Philippines is the PAF’s requirement – outlined in the service’s modernisation programme, Flight Plan 2028 – for 12 multirole combat aircraft. “Saab can fulfil the PAF requirement for an affordable fighter aircraft,” said Leek. “We think we are a strong contender.”
He added that the offer would include a package of support systems, similar to the capabilities that Saab has supplied the Royal Thai Air Force.
Meanwhile, Thailand is the only country in the region with the Swedish planes in its fleet, has acquired 12 Gripen C/D single-engine fighter jets since 2008 at a cost of nearly US$70 million (2.5 billion baht) apiece.