The Czech Republic approved the purchase of 24 US-made F-35 fighter jets, media reports said Wednesday.
The F-35 package worth 150 billion crowns ($6.5 billion), includes all expenses related to the preparation of operations in the Czech Republic, Defense Minister Jana Cerhecova said at a news conference on the development, according to the state-run CTK news agency.
The F-35s, which will be delivered in 2029-2035, will replace 14 Swedish-made JAS-39 and 24 Czech-made L-159 jets, she said, adding that the deal would allow Czech companies to participate in the F-35 consortium.
The report drew attention to the fact that the F-35 deal would be the biggest arms contract in the Czech Republic’s history.
The Czech government decided to launch negotiations in July 2022 with the US to buy 24 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets for the country’s Air Force.
The Czech Republic approved the acquisition of 246 Swedish-made heavy infantry CV-90 fighting vehicles for $2.5 billion in May to accelerate its armament program after the war in Ukraine.