The Czech Government has decided to lease 14 Gripen aircraft for another 14 years. The Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (FXM) has been negotiating on a new agreement for over a year with the Czech Ministry of Defence. The Gripen fighters have been part of the Czech air defence system since 2005.
The next step is for the contract to be detailed and then formalised in an agreement to be signed by both countries.
“We are convinced that we have found a mutually good solution which will meet the Czech Air Force’s needs, both now and in the future. This is both positive cooperation and a strategic partnership that are advantageous to the Czech Republic but that also benefit Swedish defence, Swedish taxpayers and other Gripen users,” says FXM Director-General Ulf Hammarström.
The new agreement will mean that the Czech Republic will lease 14 Gripen air craft for another 14 years. Training and upgrading of the aircraft are also included, as is all the necessary logistical and operational support needed to use the aircraft.
The first leasing agreement on 14 Gripen C/D aircraft was signed with the Czech Republic in 2004. This meant that the Czech Republic was the first NATO member to fly the Gripen. As part of the agreement, Sweden provided training of both pilots and technical staff for the Czech Air Force.
FXM is responsible for the Gripen agreements that Sweden has with Hungary, the Czech Republic and Thailand. In August last year, FXM and Switzerland signed a framework agreement on joint procurement of the next generation of Gripen and now the political process needed to approve the procurement is in progress.