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Czech Republic secures US approval for $5.6B F-35 purchase

Photo: Lockheed Martin

The US State Department has approved the sale of 24 Lockheed Martin-made F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to the Czech Republic in a potential deal valued at up to $5.62 billion.

Besides F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft, the Czech Republic requested additional Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 Engines, AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bombs – Increment II (SDB-II) StormBreaker All-Up-Rounds (AUR), and other weapons, equipment, and support systems.

“The proposed sale will improve the Czech Republic’s defense capabilities as well as support NATO operations by guarding against modern threats and maintaining a constant presence in the region,” stated the US State Department.

A year ago, the Czech Republic revealed its preference for the American F-35 fifth-generation fighter jet, opting for it over the F-16 and Saab-made Gripen fighters, as their current air force fleet consists of 14 Gripens.

 “Our decision to select this option is based on the analysis by the Czech Armed Forces, which clearly articulates that only the most advanced 5th generation fighters will be able to meet mission requirements in future battlefields,” explained Minister Černochováa a year ago.

At the same time, the Czech government negotiated the procurement of CV90 infantry fighting vehicles with the Swedish Government. Valued at approximately $2.2 billion, the agreement was reached in May of this year, and it stipulates that BAE Systems will supply the Czech Army with vehicles in seven diverse variants.