Deal to buy Beechcraft attack planes was transparent: RTAF


The procurement of light attack aircraft from the United States is transparent and based on national interest, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) said on Wednesday.

The RTAF had signed the US$143-million (THB4.68 billion) deal with US aircraft manufacturer Textron Aviation Defence on Sunday, the first day of the Dubai Air Show.

Under the pact, eight Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine aircraft, ground support equipment, spare parts and other equipment will be procured for the 41st Wing's light attack operations in Chiang Mai.

Air Force spokesman AVM Prapas Sornchaidee said the procurement was based on various aspects, including cheap repair costs, a short training period and the aircraft’s potential for military operations in border areas.

He said the Air Force had also signed an agreement with Textron and related government agencies, including the Comptroller-General’s Department and an anti-corruption cooperation committee in a move to prevent corruption in the procurement.

“We would like to confirm that this purchase is aimed at maintaining the Air Force’s potential to protect our national sovereignty, while the process has been conducted in a transparent and worthy manner,” he made clear.