Thai air force transceiver deal raises concerns over inflated costs

Image courtesy of Asian Military Review

A lawmaker from the opposition Thai Sang Thai Party (TST) raised the alarm over a plan to procure digital transceivers by the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), alleging that the proposed price significantly exceeds the market value.

An MP for Roi Et with TST, Chatchawan Paettayathai revealed that the RTAF‘s Directorate of Communications and Electronics plans to purchase 40 Jotron TR-7750 digital transceivers at 956,250 baht per unit, totalling 38.25 million baht.

Addressing a House meeting on the budget for the next fiscal year, Chatchawan expressed his concerns, noting that a basic online search indicates the quoted price is more than twice the actual market price.

According to Chatchawan, the same model can be found online for just 367,500 baht per unit, implying that 40 units should cost approximately 14.7 million baht, before further arguing that buying in bulk could reduce the price even more.

“Based on the information I’ve received and verified if the RTAF’s purchase plan is approved, the country stands to lose at least 23.55 million baht… the question is, who will benefit from the price difference?”

Chatchawan called on RTAF commander ACM Punpakdee Pattanakul and other senior officials to justify their decision to select a vendor offering the transceivers at such a high price.

Furthermore, he criticised the procurement plan, asserting that it demonstrates the armed forces‘ lack of commitment to sourcing weapons and ammunition from local manufacturers, contrary to government policy, reported Bangkok Post.

In similar news, Thailand is considering replacing its ageing fleet of F-16 fighter jets with SAAB’s Gripen models, as revealed during a recent tour of SAAB’s headquarters in Stockholm.

Reporters from Thailand were given an extensive look at the Gripen E/F manufacturing line and a flight simulator, showcasing the modern technology and capabilities of the fighter jets.

The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) included the Gripen E/F model as a preferred option in its 19-billion-baht procurement plan. A source confirmed that this model is favoured over the F-16 from the United States.

Thailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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