Thailand continues attempts to acquire world’s smallest F-35 fleet

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Thailand continues discussing the possibility to acquire two Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, the country’s media reports. 

According to an interview with commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) Alongkorn Wannarot, published by Thai PBS World news website, discussions regarding the purchase continue within the country. 

Meanwhile, RTAF awaits the response by the US congress which is evaluating the possibility of the sale to Thailand. 

Thai PBS World quotes Wannarot saying he is not sure if the evaluation will result in an approval, all the while oppositional parties within Thailand continue debating the purchase. 

The interview also states that RTAF is going to acquire two F-35 jets. Earlier report from Bangkok Post confirms the number, indicating that Thailand is going to have the world’s smallest fleet of F-35s. 

Wannarot also states that RTAF plans to replace its ageing F-16s with F-35s in the long run, so, the purchase of two new aircraft might be a temporary step. 

Thailand first announced an intention to purchase F-35s in 2021 and supplementing the jet with new combat drones. 

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