International Desk: The United States has refused to sell advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets to Thailand, a country in Southeast Asia. The North American country made this decision mainly due to training and technical obligation issues. Reuters reported this information in a report on Thursday (May 25). The Southeast Asian country's air force said on Thursday that the United States has refused to sell F-35 stealth fighter jets to Thailand due to issues with training and technical obligations.
According to Reuters, Thailand was named in 2003 as one of the main allies of the United States outside the military alliance NATO. Last year, the country budgeted 13.8 billion baht to buy state-of-the-art new US fighter jets. Because most of Thailand's warplanes are US-made F-5 and F-16 models. Thailand wants to replace these aging aircraft with new fighter jets and for that purpose the country wanted to buy eight Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter jets.
Thai Air Force spokesman Air Chief Marshal Propas Sornchaidi said in a statement that the terms of the sale of the fifth-generation fighter jets included time constraints, technical obligations and maintenance issues, and the US therefore declined to sell the fighter jets. According to Reuters, the F-35 fighter jet is one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world and is only sold by the US to its closest allies. US allies in the Indo-Pacific region that have F-35 fighter jets include Australia, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Thailand's military has been using US technology since the Vietnam War. At the time, the Southeast Asian country hosted members of the US Air Force and Navy at its base.
in addition, Thailand has been organizing the annual 'Cobra Gold' training exercise with the United States for many years. However, this warm relationship has been tempered by Thailand's military coups against democratically elected governments in 2006 and 2014, and concerns about the relationship of military-backed governments to rival power China. Propas, however, said the Air Force will replace the F-16 jets it still has and the US has offered to provide upgraded F-15 and F-16S model fighter jets. They can be transferred quickly.