Czechs sign for continued Gripen upgrades and support

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Czechs sign for continued Gripen upgrades and support





The Czech Republic is to lease its 14 Gripen fighters for a further 12 years, at a total cost of CZK22.1 billion. Source: Czech Ministry of Defence
The Czech Republic has signed an SEK576 million (USD77 million) deal with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) for the continued support and upgrade of its Saab Gripen fighter aircraft for a further 12 years, the manufacturer announced on 11 December.

The deal, which follows a CZK20.4 billion (USD918 million) agreement signed in May to extend the 10-year lease of the 14 Gripen C/D aircraft operated by the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) out to 2027, includes hardware and software modifications of the aircraft, as well as several years of support by the FMV.

Specifically, the upgrade package comprises encrypted communications suites and reconnaissance pods, NATO-compatible datalinks, helmet-mounted night vision goggles for pilots, as well as cannon ammunition and additional pilot training.

With the FMV upgrade and support contract, the total value of the 12-year leasing deal is CZK22.1 billion (USD994 million). This figure is slightly higher than the CZK21.4 billion (USD963 million) figure given by the Czech government for the arrangement in May, which is most likely down to fluctuations in the currency rate between the Swedish krona and Czech Republic koruna (all payments are to be made in krona).

Although used primarily for homeland defence, the Czech Gripens have been deployed overseas for NATO air policing in the Baltics, and for NATO training in Iceland. Five aircraft were recently stationed at Keflavik in Iceland, where they were responsible for the NATO 'peacetime preparedness mission' through to 3 December.

According to Saab, work to develop and adapt new mission software for Czech requirements will begin immediately with aircraft modifications being implemented at the end of 2015. Having received its first leased aircraft in 2005, the ACR will now field them until 2027 at least.



Czechs sign for continued Gripen upgrades and support
 

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Gripen is a good choice for the GCC Navy! Don't you think? Its very light multirole jet but it has a single engine unlike the F-18. Maybe Kuwait should order more of the F-18 to serve in the GCC Peninsula Shield Force.
 
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