Czech Republic approves acquisition of 24 F-35 fighters

Lockheed Martin aircraft will be delivered between 2031 and 2035 and will replace the 14 Saab Gripen C/D operated under lease

The government of the Czech Republic announced the approval of the plan to acquire 24 Lockheed Martin F-35A fighter jets, the European country’s Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Wednesday.

The 5th generation stealth fighter is expected to have the first example completed in 2029, when Czech pilots will begin training in the USA.

The first F-35 is scheduled to be delivered in 2031, with the remaining jets received by 2035. They will replace the 14 Gripen C/D fighters that are leased by Saab.

“The F-35 is becoming the standard. It has been acquired by most member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO), and in this case we are also committed to security”, said the Prime Minister.

“It is a system that has a longer perspective than other types of aircraft. Thanks to him, the army will be able, after years of various temporary solutions and the leasing of fourteen aircraft, to fully guarantee the defense of the Czech Republic and cooperate with our allies”, added Fiala.

The Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic highlighted the fact that the F-35 has a growing fleet among NATO allies, which allows information to be shared within a network with more than 600 aircraft planned and with a high degree of deterrence.

Czech Gripens (Milan Nykodym)

Lockheed Martin has guaranteed that the F-35 will be able to stay up to date until at least 2060, thanks to its modular and open source systems.

The government also revealed the Gripen fighters will be maintained until 2035, although the leasing contract ends in 2027.

The F-35 is already in operation or has been selected by European countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Greece, Switzerland, Denmark and Poland


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