Czech Republic Secures $6.6B Deal for 24 U.S. F-35 Fighter Jets

This marks the largest single procurement in the history of the Czech military.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 02:54 AM, January 30, 2024
  • 954
Czech Republic Secures $6.6B Deal for 24 U.S. F-35 Fighter Jets

The Czech Republic's government has officially inked an agreement with the U.S., solidifying the purchase of 24 advanced F-35 Lightning II fighter jets in a deal worth approximately $6.6 billion (150 billion Czech koruna).

This marks the largest single procurement in the history of the Czech military.

The formal commitment to acquire the Lockheed Martin 5th Generation F-35s was realized through the signing of a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) today. Facilitated under the U.S. government's Foreign Military Sale program, the Czech Air Force is scheduled to receive the initial batch of F-35s in the latest advanced Block 4 configuration by the year 2031.

In addition to the aircraft themselves, the comprehensive procurement package includes personnel training, service and logistical support, and the development of supplementary support services to ensure the seamless delivery and operation of all 24 F-35s.

Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová and U.S. Ambassador Bijan Sabet formalized the historic agreement by signing a memorandum of understanding. The Czech government also concluded the deal by signing a letter of offer and acceptance, marking the final step in cementing the contract between the two nations, according to a statement from the Czech Defense Ministry.

The first F-35 fighter jet is anticipated to be delivered in 2031, with the remaining 23 following suit by 2035. This fleet of American-made aircraft is set to replace the currently deployed 14 JAS-39 Gripen fighter jets from Sweden within the Czech army.

Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová had previously revealed that the Czech Republic would pay nearly $5 billion to the United States, covering the costs of the aircraft, pilot training, ammunition, and associated expenses. The remaining funds will be allocated to the enhancement of the Caslav air force base in central Czech Republic, including fuel provisions and staff training.

This strategic defense acquisition comes after more than a year of intense negotiations between the Czech Republic and the United States, a period that coincided with Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

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