US State Department greenlights F-35 sale for Czech Republic

F35 sale Czech Republic
Lockheed Martin F-35A multirole combat aicraft.

The US State Department approved in late June the potential sale to the Czech Republic of 24 Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters, as well as weapons, parts and equipment, in a deal worth about $5.6 billion.

“The proposed sale will improve the Czech Republic’s defense capabilities as well as support NATO operations by guarding against modern threats and maintaining a constant presence in the region,” the State Department said in a statement, though it added a claim that the new fighters “will not alter the basic military balance in the region.”

The Czech Republic made its F-35 ambitions known a year ago when Prague announced it had chosen the fifth-generation jet over the F-16V and Gripen E. The Czech Air Force is currently equipped with 14 Saab Gripens (12 in the single-seat C variant and 2 in the two-seat D variant) under a lease arrangement with Sweden. These Gripens will be returned to Sweden in 2027, which may be when the F-35s are expected to arrive.

“Only the most-advanced fifth-generation fighters will be able to meet mission requirements in future battlefields,” Czech defense minister Jana Cernochova said last year.

In addition to fighters, the potential deal also includes a range of missiles, bombs, electronic warfare and radio capabilities, as well as “classified software” and software development. The purchase also includes 25 Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines.

The Czech Republic could soon join nine other countries in Europe and 17 worldwide that have selected the F-35. More than 120 F-35s are flying in Europe today, operated by the U.S., Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and the U.K., while Belgium, Finland, Germany, Poland, and Switzerland have all selected the fighter and are awaiting deliveries. Spain and Greece are reportedly evaluating the jet as well.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

No comments

All comments related to the contents of our articles are welcome. It is not allowed to post promotional messages, links to external sites, or references to activities not related to this blog.

Powered by Blogger.