A replica of the Germany's World War II Messerschmitt Me-262 plane was one of the biggest attractions on the first day of this year´s two-day international CIAF air show near Hradec Králové, orgnanisers confirmed. The plane has modern avionics and it was made in the United States ten years ago. Its owner is The Messerschmitt Foundation in Munich. Visitors at the event could also see a Belgian plane F-16 in original camouflage and a MIG-15 UTI, a BN-2 Islander, JAS-39 Gripens and L-159 planes. The Prague Military Institute, meanwhile, displayed drones that are mainly used by firefighters and police as well as farmers, foresters and Czech soldiers in the Afghan Province of Bagram.
The Czech Defense Ministry is to announce a tender on the servicing of the Czech army’s L-159 and L-39 fighter jets. The commission would involve full post-guarantee servicing and regular maintenance of the aircraft until 2022 for which the army expects to pay around 1.6 billion crowns. The Czech Air Force currently has 19 one-seat L-159 planes, six two-seat L-159 planes and nine L-139 aircraft.
The Czech Army would like the government to increase the number of Gripen supersonic fighter jets at its disposal from the current 14 to 20 due to the security situation in Europe. The chief of the country’s air force, Brigadier General Libor Štefánik, said on Tuesday that it was just daydreaming to imagine that the international security situation would calm; he said it was not time for the Czech Republic to close its eyes to what it could probably expect in future. The government has already signed an extension to a contract under which it has leased 14 Gripens for a 10-year period at a cost of CZK 20 billion.
A years-long effort by the Czech army to off-load some of its surplus L-159 planes has finally born fruit. On Monday Defence Minister Martin Stropnický and a representative of the Czech plane manufacturer Aero Vodochody signed a contract opening the way for the sale of 14 military airplanes to the American firm Draken International in 12 million dollar deal.
The Defence Ministry and Czech aircraft manufacturer Aero Vodochody have signed a contract on a brokered deal to sell the military’s unwanted L-159 fighter jets to the American firm Draken International. The deal will officially be announced later this week. The US company is buying 14 fighter jets at the cost of 220 to 250 million Czech crowns, with the option to purchase an additional 14. The Czech Republic, however, is also keeping the doors open for a possible sale of additional L-159s to Iraq. According to Defence Minister Martin Stropnický, the Iraqis are interested in up to 15 planes.
Iraq will buy 12 Czech-built L-159 aircraft, the news website lidovky.cz reported on Monday. The contract, signed by Representatives of Iraq’s Ministry of Defence on Sunday, is worth around 200 million US dollars, the website said quoting sources familiar with the deal. The Czech military has been trying to sell off the redundant aircraft after it only found use for 28 out of 72 planes it ordered in 1997. Last year, a US training company signed a deal to buy 28 L-159 planes for around 500 million crowns.
The Czech government on Wednesday approved an extension of the lease of Swedish Gripen fighters for the Czech Air Force, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said. The lease for 14 Jas-39 Gripen aircraft was extended until 2027 with a two-year option; the Czech Republic will pay around 16.5 billion crowns for the deal. Under the new lease, the fighter jets will receive enhanced ground attack capabilities; Sweden will also train 25 Czech pilots and 90 ground personnel during in the course of the contract. The Czech Republic first leased Gripen fighter jets in 2005 amidst allegations of bribery and corruption.
The outgoing Czech government on Thursday postponed a decision on prolonging a lease of Gripen fighter jets for the Czech Air Force, the Czech defence minister said. The decision will be made by the new cabinet in the coming months. The government was planning to lease 14 aircraft until the year 2027 for an annual fee of some 69 million US dollars. The Czech Republic first leased the Swedish-made fighter jets in 2005.