The first group of technicians from the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has arrived in Sweden to attend the initial maintenance type conversion training programme on the Gripen fighter jet.

The RTAF technicians will receive training, which will continue till the end of 2010, at the Swedish Armed Forces Technical school in Halmstad.

The technical training will also include on-the-job training (OJT), part at Swedish Air Force Wings F 7 in Satenas and F 17 in Ronneby.

The technician-training programme is part of the procurement contract for six Gripen fighter jets that Thailand signed with Saab in 2008.

The Thai Air Force will also acquire a 340 AEW Erieye airborne surveillance system and 340 aircraft for training and transport from Saab, as part of a contract signed with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV).

The RTAF will take delivery of the surveillance system and training aircraft in December 2010.