The Royal Thai Air Force has commissioned four South Korean-made T-50 TH trainer jets into service at Air Wing 401 based in Takhli airbase, Nakhon Sawan after the planes had gone through tough inspection procedure.
Air Force commander-in-Chief ACM Jom Rungsawang said, although this was the first time that the Air Force had procured planes from an Asian producer, he had confidence in the quality and efficiency of the trainer jets, believing that they will be in service up to 30 years before they are to be decommissioned.
The South Korean-made T-50 TH trainer jets will replace the L-39 trainer jets which have been in service for over two decades.
This upgrading of the trainer jets will prepare Air Force pilots before they are to pilot planes of higher capability such as F16 fighters or Swedish-made Grippen aircraft.
The Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) received two separate orders from Thailand to build four T-50TH trainer jets worth US$110 million on Sept 17, 2015 and eight T-50TH jets valued at $260 million in 2016.
The four T-50 TH training jets represent the first batch received from South Korea. Eight more are expected to be delivered in October or November next year.