Czechs would like to operate supersonic aircraft also after 2015
The Czech government have decided that the Defence Ministry will go on in talks with Swedish party over prolongation of a lease agreement on SAAB 39 Gripen aircraft till this November.
The Czech government authorised on 25 July 2012 Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra to negotiate over prolongation of 10-year lease of 14 SAAB 39 Gripen aircraft with Sweden till the end of this November.
If there is no acceptable result reached from the talks, the government is ready to open public invitation to tender over supersonic aircraft fleet for the Czech Republic.
The 19.6 billion Czech Crowns lease agreements with Sweden were signed in Prague on 14 June 2004, while the first six aircraft landed at the Caslav Airbase on 18 April 2005, and the whole delivery was accomplished in August the same year.
The first Gripen supersonics of the Czech Air Force assumed protection of the Czech air space on 1 July 2005 replacing outdated Soviet-made MiG-21 supersonic aircraft.
Besides helping several civilian airplanes to reestablish a radio contact when overflying the Czech Republic so far, four Czech Gripen aircraft served in the NATO Air Policing mission in the Baltics from May to August 2009. Another tour of Czech Gripen Air Policing in the Baltics starts this September.
Czech Gripen aircraft regularly participate in NATO TIGER MEET and a number of other air exercises held in Europe.
Read the FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL comment on Czech participation in the Air Policing:
- FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL - June 2009 - *.pdf document
Posted: July 30, 2012