The ongoing negotiations began a year ago. The US government has approved the sale of F-35A stealth fighters to the Czech Republic.. This is clear from the official notification of the Department of State submitted to the US Congress on June 29 for approval of the sale of military equipment through the FMS program.
Currently, the operational core of the Czech Republic Air Force’s combat fleet is concentrated around 14 Saab Gripen fighters, which are leased until 2027. With this date in mind, The Czech government announced in the middle of last year that it was opening negotiations to buy new F-35a fighter-bombers from the US., should take advantage of strengthening ties between the two countries. Modeling on current efforts to modernize the Central European country’s armed forces.
In this vein, following yesterday’s announcement, the United States government has authorized the sale of twenty-four (24) F-35A fighter jets to the Czech Republic, along with a critical weapons package consisting of various types of missiles and bombs. . Thanks to a release by the Defense and Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the package approved by the State Department appears to have reached USD 5,200 million, with key supplier Lockheed Martin.
As mentioned, in addition to the 24 F-35As, the Czech Republic Air Force would have requested a significant weapons package for fifth-generation stealth fighters. It consists of the following components:
- 70 AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM missiles
- 50 AIM-9X Block II/II+ Sidewinder air-to-air missiles
- 80 GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bombs – Augmentation II (SDB-II) Glide Type Smart Bombs
- 12 × 2,000 lb Mk-84 general purpose bombs
- 12 JDAM Pump Replacement Kits
“The proposed sale will enhance the Czech Republic’s defense capabilities and support NATO operations by defending against modern threats and maintaining a stable presence in the region. The Czech Republic will have no difficulty absorbing these goods and services into its armed forces.”, the State Department said in its official statement.
Progress is expected to be made in the future signing of agreements between the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic and relevant agencies, with the approval of the State Department, which will certainly continue with the approval of the Congress. Above all to define the start of the training of Czech pilots and the transition to the new weapon system, as well as the delivery schedule of the F-35A in the coming years.
*Images used for illustrative purposes – credits USAF.
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