Royal Thai Air Force F-5T - Super Tigris - Image ARROW
Thai F-5s to fight on with IRIS-T missiles
18 JUNE, 2018
BY: CRAIG HOYLE LONDON
The Royal Thai Air Force is to arm its Northrop F-5 fighters with IRIS-T short-range air-to-air missiles, following the signature of a repeat order with German manufacturer Diehl Defence.
Noting that Bangkok has previously acquired the infrared-guided weapon for its Saab Gripen fighters and also subsequently its Lockheed Martin F-16 fleet, Diehl Defence notes: "The new procurement plans to integrate the missile onto the F-5, making IRIS-T a standard armament of the Royal Thai Air Force."
Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Thailand still operates 30 F-5E fighters and four B/F-model trainers, with these aged at between 30 and 40 years. It records its air force inventory as also including 53 F-16A/Bs and 11 Gripen C/Ds.
The latest Thai order represents the first integration of the IRIS-T with the aged F-5 platform. The weapon is currently operational on the F-16, Gripen, Boeing F/A-18, Eurofighter Typhoon and Panavia Tornado for partner nations Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden, plus Thailand and additional export customers Austria, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, Diehl Defence says.
IRIS-T Air-to-Air Guided Missile: Details
F-5E Tiger II & F-5T- Super Tigris: Details