vydáno: 15.03.2013, 15:38 | aktualizace: 15.03.2013 15:40
Brussels - The latest Swedish offer of an extended contract for the lease of Jas-39 Gripen fighter planes does not meet the Czech expectations, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas told his Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt on the sidelines of a EU summit today.
He said the Swedish offer should be more forthcoming.
Necas told Reinfeldt that the Czech military may decide to choose different fighters than the Gripens, he said after the summit.
He noted that the Czech military uses the Gripens in NATO operations like the protection of the Baltic skies, which promotes the fighters in other countries.
He said Sweden should realise this as well as the fact that the Czech government may declare a new tender for supersonic fighters.
Necas nevertheless said the Czechs are satisfied with the Gripens from the technological and military points of view.
He pointed out that the Czechs must seek the cheapest solution possible within their austerity measures.
Necas admitted that Reinfeldt has no power over the negotiations about the extended contract, however, he said the prime minister may use his indirect influence.
He said Sweden is interested in the extended lease also with respect to fact that the Swiss parliament did not approve a purchase of Gripens.
The Czechs have been negotiating about a possible extended lease since February 2012. The government did not like the Swedish offer and Necas declared already last summer that the conditions were not good enough.
The present ten-year lease contract, based on which the Czech air force uses 14 Swedish Gripens, will expire at the end of 2014.
According to previous information, Prague is pondering on three alternatives of its further cooperation with the Swedish side.
The first counts with the extension of the lease by another three years for over 5 billion crowns, the second and third with the extension by five and ten years for almost eight and about 14 billion crowns, respectively.
The cabinet will probably resume the debate on the document on March 20.
The present lease of 14 fighters worth 19.6 billion crowns was approved in 2004. The Czech Republic has been repaying the planes for ten years. Jas-39 Gripens have been also used by Hungary, South Africa and Thailand.
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