BANGKOK – The Thai Air Force took delivery of the last of three Swedish-made jets Wednesday, after it was delayed a day because it had been hit by lightning over India, an official said.
The JAS 39-C Gripen arrived safely at Wing 7 Airbase in Surat Thani, 530 kilometres south of Bangkok, Air Force spokesman Monthon Satchukorn said.
Two of the Saab-made jets were delivered on Tuesday.
Monthon said a committee would examine whether the jet had been permanently damaged by the lightning strike. The accident reportedly caused some damage to an electronic system.
The three jets were the final delivery of a fleet of 12 Gripen fighters purchased by the Thai Air Force, which has been heavily dependent on aging US-made F-16 fighters.
Gripen fighter jet – a new fighter jet produced by the Swedish company Saab: “The Royal Thai Air Force has ordered 12 JAS 39 Gripens (8 single-seat JAS 39C and 4 four JAS 39D two-seaters). The first 6 aircraft were delivered on 22 February 2011. The order for the last 6 JAS 39C Gripens was finalized in November 2010.”