Czechia JAS39 9242 LKMT 20Sep19 Jochen Schrader file info 640Czech Air Force may keep Gripens for free

On 30 June 2022, the Swedish ambassador to Czechia, Frederik Jörgensen, said that the Vzdušné síly armády České republiky (CzAF, Czech Air Force) can keep the leased Gripens for free after the current lease period, which ends in 2029, is over.

In 2025, the Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) will make the decision to extend the leasing contract or opt for a new type of fighter. Czechia is currently looking into buying 24 new fighter aircraft and according to a news report the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II is the leading contender.

On 14 June 2004, the Czech government officialy announced that fourteen Saab 39 Gripens, twelve JAS39C single seat and two JAS39D two-seat fighters, were leased from Saab Aerospace for a period of ten years. The contract was valued at €780 million.

In September 2013, the lease period was extended for another fourteen years until 2029. All Gripens were upgraded to the MS20 configuration. Scramble Magazine reported on this upgrade in March 2022.

Photo by Jochen Schrader (Scramble Archive)

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