Military Capabilities

Slovak MoD receives US F-16 offer as it continues talks on leasing Gripen

09 April 2018
Slovakia has received a US offer of F-16s to replace its MiG-29s. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

The Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) has confirmed that it has received a letter of offer and acceptance from the US Department of Defense (DoD) that includes a delivery and payment schedule for the aircraft, weapon systems, training, and service.

This follows US government approval on 3 April of a USD2.91 billion sale of up to 14 new-build Lockheed Martin F-16V multirole fighter aircraft to Slovakia, including air-to-air missiles, training, and support for pilots and ground personnel.

“Current Slovak fighter aircraft are incapable of operating alongside US forces and regional allies,” noted in a statement released by the DoD on 3 April as the reason the US government released the F-16 offer to Slovakia.

MoD spokesperson Dana Capakova informed media on 4 April that the US government offer was approximately EUR1 billion (USD1.2 billion) higher than the actual value of the proposed sale to make room for further costs that could arise from additional add-on weapons and other systems requiring separate US Congressional export approval.

The MoD, however, stated that it also continues to negotiate with the Swedish government over the potential procurement of Saab JAS 39 Gripen fighters. The ministry has been negotiating with Sweden over the possibility of leasing Gripen aircraft since 2015.

“After evaluating the US and Swedish offers, Defence Minister Peter Gajdos will recommend the most effective solution to the government,” Capakova said.

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