US State Department Approves $5.62 Billion Sale of F-35 Fighter Jets to Czech Republic
US State Department Approves $5.62 Billion Sale of F-35 Fighter Jets to Czech Republic

US State Department Approves $5.62 Billion Sale of F-35 Fighter Jets to Czech Republic

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of the Czech Republic of F-35 Aircraft, Munitions, and related equipment for an estimated value of up to $5.62 billion. Actual dollar value will be lower depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded. The proposed sale will improve the Czech Republic’s defense capabilities as well as support NATO operations by guarding against modern threats and maintaining a constant presence in the region. The Czech Republic will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces. The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, TX; Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson, AZ; and The Boeing Company, St. Louis, MO. The purchaser typically requests industrial participation. Any industrial participation agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor.

The Government of the Czech Republic has requested to buy twenty-four (24) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) Aircraft; twenty-five (25) Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 Engines (24 installed, 1 spare); seventy (70) AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM); three (3) AIM-120C-8 AMRAAM Guidance Sections; eighty-six (86) GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bombs – Increment II (SDB-II) StormBreaker All-Up-Rounds (AUR); two (2) GBU-53 SDB-II Guided Test Vehicles (GTV); three (3) GBU-53 SDB-II Captive Carry Reliability Trainers (CCRT); twelve (12) Mk-84 General Purpose 2,000-lb Bombs or BLU-109 2,000-lb Penetrator Bombs for the GBU-31; twelve (12) KMU-556/KMU-557 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Tail Kits for the GBU-31; fifty (50) AIM-9X Block II/II+ Tactical Sidewinder Missiles; ten (10) AIM-9X Block II Tactical Sidewinder Guidance Units; eighteen (18) AIM-9X Block II Tactical Sidewinder Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); and four (4) AIM-9X Block II CATM Guidance Units.

F-35 Lightning II Integrated Assembly Line. (Photo by Lockheed Martin)

Also included are AIM-120 AMRAAM CATMs, control section spares, and containers; AIM-9 multi-purpose/dummy air training missiles and containers; DSU-41B Active Optical Target Detectors; Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) trainer tail kits; FMU-139 Joint Programmable Fuzes; AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loaders (SKL); ALE-70 Radio Frequency Countermeasures (RFCM) Transmitters; Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment; electronic warfare (EW) data and Reprogramming Lab support; impulse cartridges, chaff, and flares; Common Munitions Built-In-Test (BIT)/Reprogramming Equipment (CMBRE); Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD); Contractor Logistics Support (CLS); classified software and software development, delivery, and integration support; transportation, ferry, and refueling support; ammunition and weapons components; aircraft and munitions support and support equipment; integration and test support and equipment; aircraft engine Component Improvement Program (CIP) support; secure communications, precision navigation, and cryptographic equipment.

The Czech government issued a Request for Information (RFI) to Lockheed Martin regarding its F-35 Lightning II. Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced in June 2022 that the government would be purchasing the F-35 and in October 2022 it submitted a letter of request (LOR) to the U.S. requesting a potential buy of the aircraft. The Czech Air Force intends for its F-35 procurement to equip two squadrons of 12 fighters apiece that will be based at ?áslav Air Base. If the Czech Republic chooses the F-35, the aircraft will be equipped with the latest modernisation package, known as Block 4. This will bring the integration of some new weapon systems in addition to upgrading software and other parts of the aircraft. In addition to the integration of other US-origin weapons, these include the Norwegian Joint Strike Missile (JSM), and then the European consortium’s MBDA Meteor, ASRAAM and Spear missiles. It is with the European weapon systems that weaponry variability will increase. It can be assumed that the larger the customer base, the larger the “list” of integrated missiles will become.

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