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Czech Republic focuses on F-35 procurement

The F-35A is set to be acquired by the Czech government, with negotiations scheduled to begin with the US government. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The Czech government has selected the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) as the preferred choice for its future combat aircraft.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced the decision on 20 July, saying that negotiations with the US government for the procurement of the fifth-generation stealth fighter will now begin. According to Fiala, the Czech Air Force will receive 24 aircraft to equip two squadrons in Čáslav Air Base.

Explaining the air force's selection, the Chief of General Staff, Major General Karel Řehka, noted, “The F-35 Lightning II will represent a highly competitive aircraft even in 2040, whereas the so-called 4+ generation of fighters will have become obsolete by then.”

The Czech Minister of Defence, Jana Černochová, said that the F-35 negotiations would be concluded by the end of October 2023, at which point a final decision on its acquisition will be made.

Lockheed Martin said it is “delighted” by the Czech government's decision.

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