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Thai Flight Training Centre a Possibility

Czech Industry May Provide Expertise and Technology

Meetings in Bangkok last week between Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis and Thai Minister of Defence Prawit Wongsuwan have resulted in speculation that a number of areas of collaboration in military aerospace fields are being considered.

The two nations have set up a working group to examine the issue, according to the Thai government, with an early focus being on the potential to establish an aerospace assembly plant and a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility. Also under consideration, according to informed sources, is the creation of a regional centre for flight simulation and training.

Given the reports late last year that Thailand has apparently expressed an interest in acquisition of an undisclosed number of L-39NG trainers from Aero Vodochody – and the fact that it already operates some 15 L-39ZA/MP ALBATROS (according to the World Defence Almanac 2018), some of which are being replaced by 12 Korean T-50THs – the flight training centre makes a degree of sense. Further details, however, have not yet been made public.

Much will depend, of course, on factors outside the direct control of the potential industrial partners – such as location, preferential tax regimes, the ability to absorb advanced technologies rapidly, etc. But the proposal has considerable merit from a market development perspective and MONCh believes this to be a story worth following over the coming months.

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