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12:57 PM, December 13, 2018
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Slovakian defense minister signs contracts to acquire F-16 aircraft (Image: Slovakian MoD)

The Slovakian government signed an agreement to purchase 14 F-16 block 70/72 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin to replace its aging MiG-29 jets for an approximate $1.8 billion.

The Slovakian Prime Minister Petar Pellegrini and Minister of Defense Peter Gajdoš signed the contract documents for the acquisition of aircraft and the agreement on industrial cooperation with United States defense manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, the MoD said in a statement Wednesday.

Its aim is the development of aviation industry in Slovakia and the gradual shift of servicing into the capabilities of the Slovak defense industry. Part of the signed contract is the comprehensive training of 22 pilots and 160 land-based technicians as well as two-year logistics support since the start of air traffic in the Slovak Republic.

Three separate agreements on the offer and acceptance of so-called Letter of Offer and Acceptance required for accession to FMS through the US FMS program were signed on the basis of the appropriate approval of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic.

They include the procurement of 14 F-16 aircraft, ammunition, logistics support and training of air and ground personnel. The air forces will take over the first aircraft in the last quarter of 2022 and all will be delivered by the end of 2023. In total, there will be 12 single-seater aircraft and 2 two-seater aircraft. The machines are fully compatible with NATO systems and will have the up-to-date equipment available for this type of aircraft.

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