The Royal Thai Air Force is due to receive six Swedish-built JAS-39 Gripen jet fighters in February 2011.

The single engine, multirole fighters will be stationed at the Wing 7 air force base in Surat thani province.

Air force Chief Marshal Itthaporn Subbawong has pledged to test fly all six himself.

“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,” he added.

The Royak Thai Air Force purchased 12 Gripen fighters, worth THB40bn ($1.3bn), to replace its aging fleet of F-5 B/E Tiger II aircraft.