Czech Republic has decided to lease 14 Gripen aircraft for another 14 years which is yet to be formalized with Sweden.
“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 also includes the training and upgrading of the aircraft, 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.
The Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency (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.