Czech Government Approves Plan to Buy 24 F-35 Jets
The Czech government has approved a plan to buy 24 F-35 fighter jets, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Wednesday, as the army seeks to boost its capabilities and work more easily alongside NATO allies.
Fiala said the first aircraft would be ready in 2029 and the rest by 2035.
“It is an effective solution,” Fiala said. “[The jet] is a system that has a longer perspective than other types of aircraft.”
Fiala added that the purchase of the Czech military sends “a message to our allies that we take the defense of our country seriously and that they can rely on us.”
Defence Minister Jana Cernochova said the state will pay 150 billion crowns by 2034, which includes 44 billion for base upgrades in the Czech Republic along with fuel, staff training and taxes.
The chief of the general staff, Lt. Gen. Karel Rehka, said that the new jets would ensure “that in the case of need, we’ll manage to effectively defend ourselves against aggression, together with our allies.”
It will be the biggest defence contract ever signed by Czechia.
In June, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of F-35 jets, munitions and related equipment to the Czech Republic, which is due to replace leased Gripen fighters from Sweden’s Saab AB.
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