Thailand Gripen issue; is it violate the law?

Well I write this article to clerify something.As far as I read Swedish English newspaper, “The Local”, there are some comment that says selling Gripen to Thailand is inappropriate because Thailand may uses Swedish jets in “Southern Thailand Unrest” and “War on Drug” which is violate the Swedish law.Eventhough the Swedish government says it’s OK about Thailand buying Gripen. But I like to say on behalf of the person who hold Thai nationality.
So let’s get start, mates.

Southern Thailand Unrest & War on Drug
This must be devided into 2 stories.Southern Thailand Unrest is the fighting between Thai officersand many militant groups in the deep south. The operation area consists of Yala, Stun, Pattani, and some part of Song Kla. The objective of those militant groups is to secede those province and establish the new state which they believe Thailand occupy this area that once a independent state back in 700 years ago.The more detail is out of this article’s scope.War on Drug is one of the most famous policy of the Thaksin Shinawatra government about 6 years ago. The objective is to reduce the drug traffic as must as they can.After the Thaksin’s term was ended the war on drug is also over.The uses of military equipment in these 2 incedent

Military operation in Southern Thailand is mostly a psychology warfare, a security patrol, checkpoint establishment, and guarding mission for teacher and monk who currently targetted by the militant. Thai Armed Force mostly uses groud troop. (thousand are deploy in the area) The aircraft that play a role in Southern Thailand Unrest is mostly a helicopter and UAV. The role is to patrol the area, deliver the troop, bring back the wounded, psychology warfare, etc. The helicopter model uses include UH-60L, UH-1H, Bell 212, Bell 412 and some other models. The fixed-wing aircraft that deploy in the area is AU-23A peacemaker. It is a military version of PC-6 Porter that uses for patrol the area. We can be seen the transporter aircraft like C-130H, Do-226, or BT-67 in transporting mission.

The war on drug was maintly focus on the drugseller. So the police play the role in this mission. There are many critic about human right issue in this policy and now The Department of Special Investigation (can be compared to FBI) is investigating the charge.

There are no attack aircraft uses in these 2 operation. This is include fighter, attacker, and trainer aircraft.

Why the attack-capable aircraft will not be used in these incident?

Because those aircraft is totally not suit for the mission. Southern Thailand Unrest is very different to the thing currently happen in Iraq or Afganistan were the coalition force uses many modern military equipment against the well-equipped terrorist group. The militant operation in Southern Thailand is focusing in bombplacing and shooting civilian and officer.

So Thai Armed Force never deploy and fighter in the area for the Southern Thailand mission. Because Thai militant group is hiding in the civilian house mixing with innocent people. The fighter is usless here.

What is the mission of Gripen in Thailand.

Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) seek for the F-5 replacement aircraft that currently protecting all part of Southern Thailand. The role of Gripen will be the air superiority, attacking, patroling, and maritime mission. The primary mission is to patrol the oil and gas site in the gulf of Thailand and patrol Thailand’s air space.

I hope this will help you more understand about RTAF Gripen.

By Skyman | 8 Feb 2008.


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