Czech Republic considering five offers for fighter jets

Five countries have offered to sell the Czech Republic a used fleet of 14 supersonic fighter jets from their air force stocks. Sweden, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and the U.S. submitted offers Friday ahead of a deadline set by a Prague government commission. The Czech government decided to seek 14 used fighters from a fellow member of the NATO military alliance to replace the Czech Air Force's Russian-made MiG-21 jets, to be retired in 2005. The used jets will be meant to protect Czech air space until an all-new fleet can be bought over the next five to ten years. Meanwhile, under the current bids, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the United States each offered to sell older F-16s, while Canada offered its FA-18 Hornets and Sweden Gripen jets. The government's negotiating commission will study the offers and could make a recommendation by the end of November.

Author: Jan Velinger