Czech Republic makes official order for 24 F-35 Lightning II fighters

Governments of the European country and the United States signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance to enable the delivery of Lockheed Martin’s 5th generation aircraft

The Czech Republic is the newest customer for Lockheed Martin’s 5th generation F-35 Lightning II fighter. The governments of the European country and the United States signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) to facilitate an order for 24 combat aircraft.

According to Lockheed, the Czech F-35s will be received from 2031 and configured as Block 4, the most advanced in development. They will replace the Saab Gripen currently in service.

Like other US partner countries, the Czech Republic will have access to stealth fighters through the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) program.

“We are pleased the government of Czech Republic is now officially a part of the F-35 Lightning II program of record,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Schmidt, program executive officer, F-35 Joint Program Office. “This partnership with the Czech Ministry of Defense will deliver and sustain the F-35 aircraft for decades, while providing the Czech Air Force with unmatched interoperability and ensuring it has the capability to counter current and future threats.”

“With the signing of the Letter of Offer and Acceptance between the Czech Republic and U.S. governments, the Czech Republic becomes the 18th nation to join the global F-35 program,” said Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F -35 programs.

Czech Gripens (Milan Nykodym)

More than 600 F-35 fighters in Europe

The package also includes personnel training, service and logistical support, and developing other support services, but they didn’t reveal its value.

The F-35 is becoming the fighter most used by air forces in Europe, with more than 10 countries.

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According to Lockheed, by the 2030s, Europe should have more than 600 F-35 fighters in operation.

Two US Air Force (USAF) squadrons stationed at Lakenheath Air Base in the United Kingdom were included.

The US company said it has delivered more than 990 F-35s that are spread across 32 bases around the world.


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