Thai Air Force to take delivery of last three Gripen fighter jets

A Swedish Saab Gripen F fighter jet

The Royal Thai Air Force took delivery of three Saab Gripen fighter jets yesterday, adding that one of the jets had been struck by lightning while flying over India on the way to Thailand and had sustained minor damage to its electronic system.

In reference to previous reports that the jet had to make an emergency landing in India, Air Force spokesman Air Vice Marshal Monthon Satchukorn said the planes had stopped for fuelling as scheduled and the lightning-struck aircraft was checked and some parts were changed.

Monthon said the condition of the jets was Sweden's responsibility and hence it had to fix everything before handing them over to Thailand. He added that once the fighters arrived at Wing 7 in Surat Thani, Air Force mechanics would check them again before they are used.

These three jets were the last batch of the 12 Gripens the Air Force bought from Sweden and were slated for delivery on Tuesday.