Czech Republic Signs Deal to Procure Two Dozen F-35s | Aviation

F 35 Czech.jpg

F-35A (Image credit: Lockheed Martin)

Prague is Joining the European F-35 User Group procuring 24 Lightning II aircraft.

Czech Republic’s Defence Minister Jana Černochová and U.S. Ambassador Bijan Sabet signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Czech Republic and the US for the procurement of 24 F-35 Lightning II 5th generation multi-role combat aircraft.

This marks the most significant procurement process ever in the history of the Czech Armed Forces. The Czechs also signed a letter of offer and acceptance, the final step in completing a contract between the governments, the Czech Defense Ministry said. The deal has a value of about 6.6B USD (150B CZK). Almost 5 billion dollars would cover the procurement of aircraft, pilot training, and munitions, while the remainder of the sum would be used to finance an upgrade of the Caslav base in the central Czech Republic so that it can host the F-35.

“We are pleased the government of Czech Republic is now officially a part of the F-35 Lightning II program of record,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Schmidt, program executive officer, F-35 Joint Program Office. “This partnership with the Czech Ministry of Defense will deliver and sustain the F-35 aircraft for decades, while providing the Czech Air Force with unmatched interoperability and ensuring it has the capability to counter current and future threats.”

Interestingly, Prague also decided to entail industrial cooperation with the procurement. Relevant contracts within that scope were signed last week, as the Czech MoD reports, by the Director General for Industrial Cooperation, Radka Konderlova. As the release issued by the Czech MoD suggests, the procurement would include 11 projects with Lockheed Martin and 3 projects with Pratt & Whitney. The cooperation is to involve 13 Czech companies and academic bodies and covers the following domains: manufacturing of components, R&D, pilot training, and aircraft maintenance. One of two certified F-35…

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