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02:16 PM, December 24, 2015
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Czech Republic will be upgrading Gripen fighter jet fleet leased from Sweden for ground-attack capability.

The upgrade will be carried out through Sweden's Defense and Security Export Agency, or FMX.

The 14 multi-role JAS 39 aircraft by Saab are leased from Sweden until 2027 under a 2014 contract renewal with the agency.

"This [upgrade] is very beneficial for the Czech Air Force," FXM Project Manager Marcus Hallberg was quoted as saying by UPI news agency Wednesday. "With this upgrade the Czech Republic enhances its capabilities significantly and takes advantage of Gripen's capabilities to an even greater extent."

The upgrades, worth about $14.2 million, will entail integration of guided and unguided bombs through new weapon pylons and software, the Swedish agency said.

The Czech Republic first signed a lease for Gripen C/D fighters in 2004. Information on the upgrade time frame was not disclosed.

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