“With this agreement, the Czech Republic is taking a long-term strategic decision to continue operating Gripen and ensuring the continued development of its national capability. This is further proof of the confidence in Gripen, and its defence capacity,” says Lennart Sindahl, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Saab's business area Aeronautics.
Gripen has been in service with the Czech Air Force since 2005, with the current lease expiring 2015. The new agreement extends the partnership between Sweden and the Czech Republic for a further 12 years and the Czech Republic will continue to operate 14 Gripen C/D until at least 2027.
The new agreement was signed by Ulf Hammarström, Director General of the Swedish Defence and Security Export Agency, FXM, and the Czech Deputy Minister of Defence for Acquisitions, Bohuslav Dvořák.
Gripen is the backbone of five nations' air defences: Sweden, South Africa, Hungary, Thailand and Czech Republic. In 2013 the Brazilian government selected Gripen for the Brazilian Air Force. In addition, The Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) in the UK uses Gripen in its training programme for future test pilots.
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