Southern Thailand Unrest & War on Drug
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.