According to reports, the United States has rejected the Royal Thai Air Force’s request to buy F-35 fighter jets because it believes that the Thai Air Force is insufficiently prepared in terms of air base security. The U.S. State Department stated that the Thai Air Force is not ready for the F-35 infrastructure, especially in terms of air base security, airfields, maintenance, pilots and other personnel, and it will take a lot of time and budget to be fully ready.
However, the United States did not directly reject Thailand’s purchase of the F-35, but said it would reconsider after the Royal Thai Air Force is ready, which may take the next five to ten years. It is reported that the United States has instead proposed to sell F-16 Block70 batches and F-15EX fighter jets to Thailand.
Why the United States does not sell F35
This makes people very puzzled, why is the United States unwilling to make this money? In fact, it is very simple, Thailand may not have the standard to buy F-35. F-35 is an international cooperation project led by the United States, which is coordinated and arranged by the United States, and the export target is determined accordingly. One of the important conditions is that the purchasing country must obey the command of the US side. This rule is quite obvious in countries that have good relations with the United States, such as South Korea.
In South Korea, the US military command must first confirm that the Korean pilots boarded the plane smoothly, and even the radar detection of their flight paths must be approved by the United States. Not to mention, the South Korean Air Force needs the permission of the United States to activate the fire control system.
According to analysis, if Thailand purchases F35 fighter jets, the strength of the air force may be improved, but other aspects will be restricted by the US military, and there will be no opportunities for independent training and combat. As such, some experts say it may be an alternative to consider purchasing the Swedish JAS-39 Gripen fighter jet, the Thai Air Force already has an export version of the “star model” and is believed to have been jointly developed by China and Pakistan One of the main competitors of the “Fierce Dragon” fighter in the international market.
Thailand can consider Chinese fighter jets
At the same time, in comparing the performance of American and European fighters with Chinese fighters, the performance of Chinese fighters is gradually improving. The “Fierce Dragon” fighter jointly developed by China and Pakistan has been successfully tested and installed in the Pakistani Air Force. At the same time, the J-10C fighter launched by China has also It has been highly praised by the Pakistani military. Therefore, Thailand can consider buying Chinese fighter jets and study the possibility of equipping them.
One of the advantages of Chinese fighters is their high cost performance. Compared with the more expensive US-made fighters, it is one of Thailand’s choices. In addition, choosing Chinese fighters can also avoid being “controlled by the US military”. Although Pakistan also installed F-16 fighter jets, in fact the Pakistani army is not satisfied with this, because the use of F-16 will be subject to various restrictions and surveillance by the United States, which may affect the combat effectiveness.
Therefore, for Thailand, choosing Chinese fighters is a good choice. Although Thailand used Western fighters before, this change is feasible. Just like Pakistan can transition from F-16 to J-10C.