Home > Strategic Analysis > Czech Gripen: chronicle of a foretold prolongation

Czech Gripen: chronicle of a foretold prolongation

Published : 3 December 2012
320 words in that article

On 3rd December 2012, Mr. Alexandr Vondra, the Czech Defense Minister, will brief the National Security Council about the conclusions of negotiations with Sweden linked with prolongation of leasing period of the 14 JAS-39 Gripen jets in service in the Czech Armed Forces.

Most probably the Czech National Security Council [2] should recommend government to approve the new Swedish proposal.

Effectively, as it was foreseen (see Opinicus article of September 2012), Swedish proposal accordingly includes a substantial price reduction which allows to Czech government to save face and to approve without any surprise the prolongation of the leasing period of a fighter that is satisfying both the Czech needs and Armed Forces.

The overall price and lease duration are not precisely known yet but it is likely that Sweden has agreed on maximal reduction combined with attractive commercial conditions in order to make its 10-year offer irresistible.

Thus, even if the strict Czech need is an interceptor capable of protecting the national airspace, the last Swedish offer could include special kits in order to improve the fighter’s polyvalence (reconnaissance pod, air-to-ground capability).

Effectively, one of the most severe internal critics during the Libyan crisis was that the Czech Armed Forces were not technically capable to deploy their jets when the Swedish Forces deployed 8 Gripen to Sigonella airbase in Sicily. Since then, shortfalls which were noticed, mainly in terms of air-to-air refueling, have been caught up. However, an improvement of Czech Gripen capabilities, which would be duly registered in NATO catalog, would be welcome in order to justify in front of a skeptical fringe of population the necessity for the Czech Armed Forces of having such an expensive tool.

And last but not least, it will be for Mr. Vondra, who is leaving his position in the government at the end of this week, the occasion to successfully conclude his two and half year term as head of the Defense Ministry.

Footnotes

[1(Prime Minister, Minister of the Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defense, Minister of Interior, Minister of Finance, Minister of Transport, Minister of Industry and Trade, Health Minister, Minister of Environment, Vice-Premier in charge of coordination of struggle against corruption, Director of Czech National Bank, Director of Administration of State Material Reserves)

[2(Prime Minister, Minister of the Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defense, Minister of Interior, Minister of Finance, Minister of Transport, Minister of Industry and Trade, Health Minister, Minister of Environment, Vice-Premier in charge of coordination of struggle against corruption, Director of Czech National Bank, Director of Administration of State Material Reserves)