The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has proposed the government to buy six Gripen jet fighters and upgrade six F-16 fighters.

The fleet is estimated to cost over 20bn baht ($605.7m) including 15.4bn baht ($466m) for new Gripens and 6.9bn baht ($209m) to upgrade the F-16 A/B fighters from Nakhon Sawan-based Wing 4.

The six-F-16 upgrade is one of the three phases planned to upgrade a total of 18 F-16 fighters, with each phase involving six fighter upgrades at a cost of 6.9bn baht ($209m).

RTAF hopes to receive approval shortly and purchase the Gripen fighters under the 2011 fiscal budget.