High Availability Despite the Pandemic
(Source: Swedish Armed Materiel Agency; FMV; issued Nov 16, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
All 11 Gripen C fighters operated by the Royal Thai Air Force prepare to take off for a formation flight to celebrate having attained 100% percent availability despite the pandemic. The first aircraft is armed with a Saab RBS-15 anti-ship missile. (FMV photo)
With a formation flight, the Thai Air Force showed its appreciation for how the support for the Gripen system in Thailand works.

Last week, the Royal Thailand Air Force (RTAF) Wing 7 had 100 percent availability on its eleven Gripen aircraft. This was celebrated by the RTAF by flying a formation flight (usually called a ‘Christmas tree flight’ in Sweden) with nine aircraft. Two aircraft were on standby (QRA) loaded with weapons and participated by taxing on the ground.

This is proof that the FMV project Gripen to Thailand together with the Swedish Armed Forces, even during the current pandemic in the world, has succeeded in maintaining our commitment to the Royal Thai Air Force.

“There are major challenges that the project manages to solve together with RTAF, for example the logistical challenge with transport of classified equipment to and from Thailand. We have solved this with a very good collaboration with the Armed Forces, which supports transport and forwarding,” says project manager Kristian Säf Pernselius.

Everyday life for the project is not the same due to the limitations that the pandemic entails. It is not practically possible for Swedish staff to be present in Thailand due to quarantine rules.

“We have therefore had to find new but creative solutions to succeed with the task that the Swedish government has assigned to FMV. A major challenge is to conduct meetings and negotiations. At the moment, we are planning to upgrade the Gripen aircraft and due to the pandemic, this means that everything will take longer, both for the project and RTAF. In that work, we have collaborated with the Thai Embassy, which supports us in an exceptional way,” says Kristian Säf Pernselius.

Facts: Gripen to Thailand

Through FMV, Sweden has delivered twelve Gripen aircraft, including RBS15 anti-ship missiles, two AEW aircraft, one Saab 340 transport aircraft and management systems to Thailand through contracts signed in 2008 and 2010.

FMV has continued contracts for support, maintenance and maintenance.

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