The Thai House of Representatives has approved a defence budget that includes an allocation to buy a second Gripen batch for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF).

The house has approved THB170bn ($5.4bn) as part of the 2011 fiscal year defence budget.

Around 25% and 30% of the budget will include a down payment of six JAS 39 Gripens and funding for the mid-life upgrade of the RTAF’s Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs respectively.

The allocation is a 10% increase over actual defence spending in the 2009 financial year, according to