The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has begun its first Gripen C/D fighter flights from the new Gripen base in Wing 7 Surat Thani, southern Thailand.

The first six Gripen fighters are part of an intergovernmental agreement, according to which, FMV, the Swedish Defence Material Administration, will supply an integrated air-defence system.

The new air-defence system consists of Gripen, the airborne early warning system Saab 340 Erieye AEW, and a command and control system.

The RTAF Air Force pilots and ground crew trained in Sweden throughout 2010 ahead of the delivery of the fighters.