May 22, 2012: Sweden sold the Thailand Air Force a Saab 340B transport recently and the price was an exchange for three Italian G222 transports. The G222s were grounded for age-related maintenance issues.
The Saab 340B is a 22 ton, twin prop aircraft, with a cruising speed of 660 kilometers an hour. The aircraft can stay in the air about four hours per sortie. The G222 is a 28 ton, twin prop aircraft, with a cruising speed of 429 kilometers an hour. The aircraft can stay in the air about three hours per sortie.
Thailand wanted to get rid of the G222s, which first entered service in the 1970s. The Thai G222s were out of service because of the high cost of maintenance. The G222 design has since been upgraded and renamed the C27.
Sweden made this trade because Thailand has become a major export customer for military and transport aircraft.