We will back out of buying F-35 fighters if they are not on time, he said | iRADIO

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If the American manufacturer Lockheed Martin does not deliver the ordered fighter jets to the Czech Republic by the agreed date, the ANO movement, if it will rule in the country, will withdraw from the contract. The chairman of the ANO movement, Andrej Babiš, told Deník Právo. The most expensive military purchase for 150 billion crowns was signed this week by Defense Minister Jana Černochová (ODS) and American Ambassador to the Czech Republic Bijan Sabet.



Prague
9:39 am February 3, 2024

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In the case of the ANO government, Andrej Babiš wants to withdraw from the purchase of F-35 fighter jets Photo: René Volfík | Source: iROZHLAS.cz

The first machines from the 24 ordered should arrive in 2031, all will be in the Czech Republic by 2035.

“The manufacturer Lockheed has not fulfilled the deliveries of the ordered F-35s for the US military for the second year. I don’t know if we can withdraw from the agreement if it is not fulfilled. We don’t need those planes, they didn’t compete…,” said Babiš. “We will back down from the F-35 if it is delayed,” he added.

Černochová and the American ambassador signed the purchase of F-35 fighter jets. The Czech Republic will pay 150 billion crowns for them

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In a statement on Thursday, he said that ANO would respect the agreement on the purchase of 24 fifth-generation F-35 aircraft in the event of joining the government. The head of another opposition movement, the SPD, Tomio Okamura, previously said that the SPD wants to withdraw from the agreement on the purchase of fighter jets if it enters the government.

Last September, the government approved the purchase of 24 American aircraft for 150 billion crowns. The Czech Republic will pay 106 billion crowns for fighter jets, related equipment, training, ammunition and ensuring the life cycle, and will pay them gradually between 2024 and 2034.

Another 44 billion crowns will go mainly to infrastructure, fuel, staff training and VAT. The first machines will be ready in 2029, their deliveries to the Czech Republic will begin in 2031 and end by 2035.

The F-35 Lightning II is a single-seat, single-engine multirole aircraft | Photo: Zuzana Jarolímková | Source: iROZHLAS.cz

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