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U.S. Declines Sale of F-35 Fighter Jets to Thailand Due to Training and Technical Issues



U.S. Declines Sale of F-35 Fighter Jets to Thailand Due to Training and Technical Issues

(CTN News) – On Thursday, the air force of the Southeast Asian country of Thailand said that the United States had denied selling its F-35 stealth fighter fighters to the country due to concerns with training and technical requirements.

The United States designated Thailand as a Major Non-NATO Ally in 2003, and the country has since set aside 13.8 billion baht ($407.68 million) to purchase new jets to replace its aging fleet of largely American-made F-5 and F-16 fighters.

It zeroed focus on as many as eight F-35 A fighter jets that Lockheed Martin (LMT.N) made.

Thailand to Explore Alternatives After US Rejection of F-35 Purchase

Air Force spokeswoman Air Chief Marshall Prapas Sornchaidee stated that the United States could not propose the sale of the fifth-generation aircraft due to factors including time limits, technical requirements, and maintaining compatibility.

Due to its classified nature, the F-35 is only supplied to the United States’s closest allies in the Indo-Pacific region, including Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.

Twelve Swedish-made Saab JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets have recently joined Thailand’s fleet of American-made planes, many of which have been in service for decades.

Even before the end of the Vietnam War, while U.S. air force and naval personnel were stationed at Thai facilities, the Thai military was using American technology. Thailand has hosted yearly “Cobra Gold” training exercises between the United States and its allies for many years.

The coups in 2006 and 2014 that the Thai military staged against democratically elected governments and concerns over overtures by army-backed regimes to China’s rival power have put a chill on the previously warm ties between the two countries.

The United States has offered the improved F-15 and F-16s versions, which may be transferred more quickly, and Prapas has stated that the air force will still replace its F-16 fighters.

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