Its democracy Czech Republic will buy 24 American F-35 fighter jets, the prime minister of this country announced today.
“The first F-35 they will be ready in 2029 and our pilots will start training for it in the United States,” Petr Fiala told reporters.
As he specified, the first F-35s will arrive in the Czech Republic in 2031, and the Czech army will have a total of 24 aircraft by 2035.
Defense Minister Jana Chernohova clarified that the total price of the purchase amounts to 150 billion crowns ($6.5 billion).
“We will pay nearly 106 billion kroner for aircraft, munitions, simulators, training, taxes and other items by 2034“, the defense minister told the press.
The remaining amount will be spent specifically on the purchase of fuel and this money will therefore remain in the Czech state budget, he added.
The Czech military currently uses Swedish-made Saab AB Gripen fighter jets, the lease of which will expire in 2027. The Gripens will be replaced by the US F-35 jets, the sale of which, as well as munitions and related equipment, to the Czech Republic approved in June by the US State Department.
“There is no more time for other temporary solutions“, said Chernohova.
According to Fiala, the funding has been secured following the government’s decision to dedicate 2% of the total state budget expenditure to defence, in line with the commitment to NATO.
“It is important to strengthen our relations with NATO allies. With this move, we are telling them that we take the defense of our country seriously and that they can rely on us”, he added.
Source: News Beast
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