Vietnam presents Thai Air Force with MiG-21bis fighter


BANGKOK, July 18 —  The Vietnamese Air Force on Friday presented a MiG-21bis fighter aircraft to the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF), aimed at strengthening military relations between the two neighbouring  countries.

Senior Colonel Vu Hoi An, deputy chief of Vietnam’s Aeronautical Engineering, presented the fighter plane to RTAF Commander-in-Chief Prajin Junthong, also deputy leader of National Council for Peace and Order responsible for economic affairs, during a ceremony held at the RTAF Museum.

The plane will be on display at the RTAF Museum for the public to view.

Sr Col Vu said during the presentation ceremony that the fighter plane was used on manyl occasions during the Vietnam War against the American forces and was able to destroy a number of US fighter-bombers and B-52 bombers.

He said the Vietnamese government wanted the RTAF to help display and inform the Thai people how powerful this fighter aircraft was in the past.

The Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975 after North Vietnamese forces seized the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City).

Air Chief Marshal Prajin said senior air force officers of the two countries have exchanged visits frequently during the past two years.

The presentation of the MiG-21bis by Vietnam is aimed at  strengthening relations between the air forces of the two countries. The RTAF, however, presented nothing in exchange.

Air Vice-Marshal Sakpinit Promthep, assistant chief of the RTAF Air Staff, said the MiG-21bis had played a major role in defending Vietnam against US attacks during the Vietnam War.

He said the fighter aircraft was able  to destroy  several F-105, F-4 and B-52 fighter bombers  which were very powerful at that time.