Defence Ministry seeking to extend lease on Swedish Gripens

The Ministry of Defence which is negotiating with the US government for the purchase of 24 F-35 fighter jets for more than 100 billion crowns has also started negotiations with Sweden on extending the lease of the Gripen fighters until 2035, the news site Novinky reported, citing military sources. The ministry is seeking to extend the loan of the Gripens until at least 2035 so as to give Czech pilots sufficient time to train on the new US fighter jets. It also wants a back-up in case the Locheed Martin company fails to deliver the jets on time.