US rejects Thailand’s request to buy F-35 jets

The United States Department of Defense has reportedly turned down Thailand’s request to buy advanced fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets over issues of training and technical requirements.

The US State Department believes that Thailand does not have sufficient infrastructure to support the F-35.

Explicitly, concerns were raised with regards time constraints, technical requirements and maintenance compatibility, airbase security, airfield capabilities, and the availability of trained pilots and other essential personnel.

Nonetheless, the US has extended two alternative proposals, offering the purchase F-16 Block 70 and F-15 Eagle fighters to Thailand.

Worth mentioning, Thailand was designated a Major Non-NATO Ally by the US in 2003. And, the F-35 is considered a sensitive export sold only to the United States’ closest allies, which in the Indo-Pacific includes Australia, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

About F-35 Fighter Jet

General characteristics

Crew: 1

Length: 51.4 ft (15.7 m)

Wingspan: 35 ft (11 m)

Height: 14.4 ft (4.4 m)

Wing area: 460 sq ft (43 m2)

Aspect ratio: 2.66

Empty weight: 29,300 lb (13,290 kg)

Gross weight: 49,540 lb (22,471 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 65,918 lb (29,900 kg) [462]

Fuel capacity: 18,250 lb (8,278 kg) internal

Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 afterburning turbofan, 28,000 lbf (125 kN) thrust dry, 43,000 lbf (191 kN) with afterburner