Slovakia selects F-16 over Gripen
Slovakia selects F-16 over Gripen.

On 11 July 2018, the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic, announced that the country approved the purchase of 14 US-made F-16V Block 70/72 fighter jets to replace the current MiG-29 fleet. "The contract will provide Slovakia with a fourth-generation combat fighter that is interoperable with US and NATO standards," MoD said.

According to Slovakian Defence Minister Peter GajdoĊĦ, the F-16 Block 70 was chosen over the SAAB JAS-39 Gripen because it is cheaper and has faster deliveries. The Slovakian Defence Department said it compared the price, ammunition, pilot training costs and ground staff, logistics, infrastructure completion, delivery times and other operating costs of the fighters up to the year 2040.

“While the treaty with the US government is ready for signature, the Swedish side insisted on the negotiation of details only after a government decision was taken,” he said. “Based on thorough analysis, we have chosen the best solution because they are state-of-the-art modern machines that have no competition in terms of price, quality and capabilities, and what we can afford as a country."

The new combat aircraft will continue to guarantee the protection and sovereignty of Slovak airspace, as well as support for ground forces operations.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

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