The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has received six Swedish-made Gripen 39 C/D fighter aircraft at Don Muang Royal Thai Air Force Base, to be stationed at the Wing 7 Air Force Base in Surat Thani, southern Thailand.

The Gripen fleet will replace the Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter jets, which will be decommissioned by the end of this year.

RTAF Commander-in-Chief ACM Itthaporn Subhawong said the jet fighters would bring modern and significant changes to the RTAF, and transform it into a network-oriented system.

“The Gripen is like a new type of computer with all the modern stuff. Most importantly, the supplier has agreed to transfer all the technology to us,” he added.

The RTAF will connect Saab 340 Erieye airborne early warning aircraft to the Gripen fighters, in addition to constantly upgrading the fighter software.

The fleet forms part of the deal worth 40bn Baht ($1.3bn), with the second batch of six slated to arrive next year, reports the Bangkok Post.