Lockheed Martin confident in Czech Republic fighter effort

As the Czech Air Force starts to weigh up a possible replacement for its fleet of Saab 14 Gripen C/Ds, Lockheed Martin has revealed that both the F-35 and F-16 Block 70/72 have been offered, with the two-squadron requirement in the region of 18-24 aircraft.

The move comes a year after the Czech government issued a Request for Information (RFI) for a supersonic fighter solution. The current Gripen C/D lease deal expires in 2027, although there is a two-year option to extend it until 2029.

While the RFI did not specify the number of aircraft, Lockheed Martin is bidding with 18 F-16 Block 70/72s or F-35As. Meanwhile, the company's competition rival, Saab, is offering 24 Gripen C/D or E/Fs.

F-35A Lightning II in flight [Lockheed Martin/Matthew Short]
Lockheed Martin has revealed that it will offer 18 F-35A Lightning IIs to the Czech Republic in a bid to fulfil the nation's requirement for two squadrons of fixed-wing combat aircraft to replace the Czech Air Force's current leased fleet of Saab Gripen C/D multi-role fighters. Lockheed Martin/Matthew Short

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