Thailand Moving to Upgrade its F-16 Fleet

By Defense Industry daily; Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Linthicum Heights, MD receives a maximum $115 million firm-fixed-price contract to provide 38 AN/APG-68(V)9 radar systems: 16 for the Royal Thai Air Force and 22 for the Republic of Iraq. This foreign military sale also includes spares for F-16 operators Egypt, Morocco, and Pakistan. The 16 radars seems to cover the next 2 phases of Thailand’s modernization program, and leads one to wonder the 2-plane Feb 14/11 crash (q.v.) brought eligible F-16 numbers down from 18 to 16, or if Thailand is stopping short of 18 for other reasons.  As Thailand invests in its future air force, which includes 4+ generation JAS-39 C/D Gripen fighters and S340 AEW air control planes, it still needs to pay attention to its 18-plane supporting fleet of 1980s-era F-16A/B Block 15s. A September 2010 request would bring those aircraft near F-16C/D Block 50 standards via a mid-life upgrade, giving the RTAF a secondary fighter force with full day/night and adverse weather capabilities (Read More).

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