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Czech AF to get F-35

The Government of the Czech Republic made a crucial decision in the domain of acquisition and modernisation of the Czech Armed Forces. The Cabinet decided to cancel the tender for new infantry fighting vehicles and authorised Defence Minister Jana Černochová to negotiate the procurement of F-35 Lightning II multirole fighters with the United States Government. Those types of equipment are in the inventory of a number of NATO Allies and EU Member States, thanks to which the modernisation will strengthen cooperation and drive down the maintenance costs.

“Today is a crucial day for the future of our defence acquisitions. The Government decided on the future of the Czech supersonic air capability. I was authorised to form an inter-ministerial negotiating team and commence negotiations with the United States Government to procure 24 units of the F-35 Lightning II multirole fighters to equip two squadrons”.

Defence Minister Jana Černochová

F-35 Lightning II is the 5th generation state-of-the-art aircraft that will provide a broad spectrum of capabilities to enhance our national defence posture. The F-35 multirole fighters offer a solution for decades.

“The F-35 Lightning II will represent a highly competitive aircraft even in 2040, whereas the so-called 4+ generation of fighters will have become obsolete by then. In addition, the F-35 is not just a fighter – it provides an aerial capability combining a fighter, air defence element, as well as cutting-edge surveillance and command, control and communication centre while being part of a broad network of Internet of Things including unmanned aerial vehicles, and is able to perform missions that are completely outside the capabilities of the current aircraft,”

Chief of General Staff Major General Karel Řehka elaborates on the requirement of the Czech Armed Forces.

The rationale behind increasing the number of fighters is the fact that the present quantity of supersonic fighters no longer meets the current tasking and given the worsening security situation, the volume of performed missions will continue to grow.

At the same time, it is a cost-effective solution, because we will share the same equipment with the United States, Poland and a number of other NATO Allies. This will strengthen cooperation, joint training and capability sharing to the overall effect of strengthening our defence posture.

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