By Thai Newsroom Reporters
A SQUADRON OF F-5TH Super Tigris fighter jets of the air force have already been upgraded for a 10-year service from now, confirmed an air force officer over the weekend.
Elbit Systems of Israel and Thai Aviation Industries were contracted for the five-year modification programmes for the 13 Northrop F-5 fighters, 11 of which are one-seat jets and two others are two-seat combat aircraft.
The F-5TH Super Tigris jets, deployed by the air force since 1978, have been upgraded in the area of avionics and weapon systems featuring short-range, air-to-air missiles and laser-guided bombs, among others.
The modified F-5s, deployed by the air force’s Wing 21 in Ubon Ratchathani, will be operable over a 10-year span from now or until 2032 at the latest, according to the air force officer who only spoke on condition of anonymity.
The air force has planned to procure a squadron of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters to replace the F-5s as well as General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon jets currently based at Wing 1 in Nakhon Ratchasima and Wing 4 in Nakhon Sawan.
Top: Two of the air force’s F-5TH Super Tigris fighters flying high. Photo: Aagth1.blogspot.com
Front Page: An air force officer standing next to a F-5TH Super Tigris fighter. Photo: Thai Rath