Wikileaks: Czech Republic seeks European pool to purchase F-16 fighter jets
The Czech Republic is seeking to purchase a number of US made F-16 fighter jets, according to emails from the private security company Stratfor published this week by Wikileaks. According to the emails, the Czech Republic is seeking to create a pool of six central European countries that would make a bulk purchase of the fighter jets and thus lower the overall costs. Specifically, an October 2011 email asserts that the Czech Ambassador to the United States and his security attaché are seeking to purchase the aircrafts – instead of Swedish made Gripen jets – but stated that the current asking price was too high. It proposes that Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and perhaps Poland pool together to purchase a total of 85 fighters. In February, the Czech government decided that it will continue to have a supersonic military air-force beyond 2015, the date that the lease on its current Gripen fleet is set to end.