Thailand, Czech Republic pursue defence collaboration

21-Jan-2019 Intellasia | Janes | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Thailand and the Czech Republic have agreed to establish a working group with a view to setting up joint projects in the defence industry, the Thai Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.

Following meetings in Bangkok on 16 January between Thai Defence minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Czech prime minister Andrej Babis, the MoD said the two countries were especially interested in developing military-aerospace ties.

According to the MoD the Czech government has stated an interest in investing in Thailand’s eastern seaboard: a region that the Thai government is promoting for foreign direct investment and economic development.

The MoD added that it was possible that Thailand could cooperate with the Czech Republic in supporting investment to develop an aerospace assembly plant and a centre to facilitate maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO). Other possibilities include developing a regional flight simulation training centre in Thailand and facilitating Czech investment in the commercial sector.

The MoD said the new working group will study potential programmes to support cooperation in such activities and other collaboration in research, development, and technology transfers from the Czech Republic to Thailand.

The Thai MoD made no mention of potential defence trade between the two countries. However, Jane’s reported in November 2018 that Thailand had expressed an interest in acquiring an undisclosed number of Czech-made Aero Vodochody L-39NG jet trainers/light-attack aircraft.

Jane’s also reported at the time that Babis was scheduled to visit Thailand in January 2019 to hold further talks regarding the potential sale of the L-39NG, which was formally unveiled in October 2018.

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) currently operates 24 L-39ZA Albatros aircraft, some of which are being replaced by 12 Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) T-50TH Golden Eagle lead-in fighter trainers (LIFTs) ordered in 2015. The RTAF mainly uses the L-39ZA aircraft for light attack, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations.


Category: Thailand

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