The air force will improve its radar-based defence system next year and link it to the army and navy for joint missions.It intends to replace ageing radars and support facilities with new systems to search for airborne targets under the Royal Thai Air Force Defence System (RTAD), said air force chief Prajin Jantong.
The air force will be able to communicate with the navy's frigates _ HTMS Naresuan and HTMS Taksin _ and the navy's aircraft carrier HTMS Chakri Naruebet.
The communications facilities of these vessels are being upgraded, a military source said.
Earlier, the air force bought 12 Gripen fighter jets from Sweden along with two Saab 340 AEW early warning aircraft and a Saab 340 transport plane for 34 billion baht.
Linking the air force with the navy will enable joint operations in the future, the source said.
Connections will also be expanded to the army under the air force's "Network Centric" plan to link the systems of the three armed forces. The plan will be completed in 2014, the source said.
Meanwhile, ACM Prajin also wants the air force's new communications facilities to be applied to disaster response efforts _ a goal backed by Asean defence ministers who have agreed to work in concert in the field of regional disaster relief in the lead-up to the Asean Economic Community in 2015.