Thailand scrambled two F-16s after a Myanmar MiG-29 violated Thai airspace on 30 June 2022. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)
A cross-border violation by a Myanmar Air Force military aircraft engaged in military operations on 30 June prompted a scramble by Thai fighter jets.
According to air force spokesperson Air Vice Marshal Prapas Sonjaidee, two F-16s were scrambled after a Thai radar detected an aircraft in Thai airspace close to the border with Myanmar.
The incident occurred at “about 1106 [h] local time at Phop Phra, Tak province,” AVM Sonjaidee told Janes. He added that the border was violated while the aircraft was attacking an ethnic armed group along the border.
According to the spokesperson, the aircraft, identified as a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 fighter, spent no more than two minutes in Thai airspace. The airspace violation was prompted by weather and a large hill in the area, AVM Sonjaidee told Janes.
Thai media reported that the low-flying aircraft caused panic in two Thai villages near the border. Multiple types of aircraft appear to have been involved in the attack on the ethnic group.
Secretary-General of the National Security Council, Gen Supot Malaniyom, told Thai media that similar airspace violations have “happened four to five times this year”.
According to theJanes Terrorism and Insurgency Centre(JTIC), the Myanmar military has scaled up airstrikes against ethnic minority groups following the military government's seizure of power in February 2021. Since June 2021 about 22 airstrikes against ethnic rebel forces have been catalogued by JTIC. Most of the strikes are reportedly carried out by MiG-29s, Yakovlev Yak-130, or Mil Mi-35 ‘Hind' attack helicopters.