Czechia set to purchase F-35 fighter jets in largest defense purchase in country’s history

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

The Czech government decided on Wednesday to procure 24 American multi-role F-35 aircraft, with the deal including weapons for these fighter jets, as well as an offset agreement. The first jet is expected to arrive in the Czech Republic in 2029, with all units to be delivered by the end of 2035.

The U.S.-made F-35s will replace the Swedish Gripen JAS-39 fighter aircraft, which the Czech Air Force is leasing until 2027, as well as the domestically produced L-159 aircraft.

The purchase of F-35 aircraft was announced on the X platform by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

“This is a fundamental technological leap for the development of the army and also for the Czech economy and the academic and technological sphere,” posted Fiala.

The total cost for the new aircraft, associated equipment, pilot and technician training, and ammunition is set to be 150 billion Czech koruna, roughly equivalent to €6 billion. This will be the largest defense-related expenditure in Czech history, surpassing the amount spent on the acquisition of Swedish CV90 armored infantry fighting vehicles.

As part of the offset agreement, 14 industrial cooperation projects have been prepared for Czech companies. Military officials who advocated for the F-35 purchase believe that the fifth-generation American fighter will meet the requirements of the modern battlefield, including electronic warfare capabilities, for several decades.

According to the Chief of the General Staff, General Karel Rzehka, the manufacturer pledges support for these aircraft until 2082.

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