BANGKOK: Gripens for LIMA19. One or two JAS 39 Gripen from the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) are expected to take part in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA 19) 2019 scheduled for March, next year.
The actual number of Gripens to take part in the show will depends on the parking spot available at the show, says 701 Sqdn CO Wing Commander Kritsana Sukdee.
Unlike two years ago, the Gripen will only be there as part of the static display. The squadron is based at the Wing 7 RTAF airbase at Surat Thani, southern Thailand.
It must be noted that the RTAF’s participation is on the invitation of the Malaysian Defence Ministry and the RMAF. This will be the third participation of the Thais at Langkawi. They took part in LIMA in 2011 and 2017.
This year’s participation will not be part of a marketing push for the Gripen as the MRCA programme has been KIVed pending approval from the government.
Even Russia which is now offering the MIG-35 for the MRCA programme – even though its previous offer of the Su-35 has been rejected – has been told that LIMA 2019 was not the place to market their wares.
It is expected other Asean air forces will fill up the static or aerial display slots with the absence of any MRCA contenders.
However it is likely that the show organisers will accept the participation of any aircraft to fill up the static and aerial display slots.
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