As you know, Gripen procurement program was splited in to two batch for the financial reason. First batch, consists of 6 Gripens, 1 Saab 340 AEW&C, and 1 Saab 340, was ordered in Fed 2008.
Many rumors said RTAF want to push the Batch #2 faster than what it said in MoU between Thailand and Sweden. However, this news appear to said all the process will be followed the original plan which it would sign the Bach #2 in 2010.
Please note that fiscal year in Thailand is from October – September. The news said Defense minister approve the purchase of Gripen in next fiscal year. This mean any contact sign must be done between october 2009 – september 2010 which is the fiscal year of 2010.
Air Force to earmark next year’s tie-over budget to buy Grippen fighters
By The Nation
Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan on Thursday gave his blessing for the Air Force to buy six additional Grippen fighters from Sweden starting next fiscal year with the budget spreaded over five years.
The planned procurement would complete the deployment of a squadron.
Prawit said the financing would be allocated from the Air Force budget, hence not be a burden on the government spending.
The new squadron of fighter jet is justified in order to decomission old aircraft in service for more than 30 years, he said.