U.S. Rejects Thailand’s F-35 Bid Due to Time Constraints: RTAF

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BANGKOK, Nov25 (TNA) – The U.S. is not selling the fifth generation F-35 fighter jets to Thailand at this time due to many time constraints but proposed that Thailand purchase F-16 or F-15 which meet its requirement and can be delivered sooner, the Royal Thai Air Force explained.

Royal Thai Air Force spokesman AVM Prapas Sonjaidee said U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Robert F.Godec met ACM Alongkorn Wannarot RTAF commander-in-chief, affirming cooperation with Thailand as close allies in the Indo-Pacific region and discussing Thailand’s bid to buy F-35 fighter jets.

There are many time constraints that the U.S. cannot supply the F-35 fighter jets to Thailand at this time. According to the production and order plan, it will take at least 10 years to deliver F-35 jets to a new buying country.

To accommodate the advanced fifth generation F-35 with stealth capability, the buying country needs to invest in specific infrastructure facilities, training and security system in accordance with the U.S. conditions.

Logistic, inventory and management systems for F-35 differ from those of F-16 and these two types of fighter jets cannot share the same infrastructure.

U.S. will discuss preparation for the future supply of the F-35 to Thailand. During the transition period, it proposed that the RTAF would consider procuring F-16 and F-15, which can be supplied sooner.

The RTAF confirmed it was necessary to procure new fighter jets to replace F-16 jets to be decommissioned soon in order to maintain its capacity in air defense. (TNA)