No deal reached on Gripen lease extension

The Czech and Swedish defence ministers have reached no deal on the extension of the lease of Swedish Gripen fighters for the Czech Air Force. After Friday’s talks with Swedish Minister of Defence, Karin Enström, in Ostrava, her Czech counterpart, Alexandr Vondra told reporters should Sweden not come up with a better offer, the Czech government would launch a new tender to lease or buy jet fighters. The website reported Sweden offered a 25 percent discount on the lease on condition it will be signed for 10 years. However, Czech officials would only like to lease the fighters for five years.

The Czech military leased 14 Gripen jets in 2004 for 20 billion crowns; the lease will expire in 2014. Mr Vondra said the negotiations with Sweden would continue until November.

Author: Jan Richter