The Slovak Republic Security Council and Cabinet has approved the purchase of F-16 Fighting Falcon Block 70 / 72 fighter jets from the US to protect the Slovak airspace and provide close air support to its land forces.
The Slovak Armed Forces and a team of subject matter specialists from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have selected the F-16 Block 70 / 72 combat aircraft as the US bid that seems to be more advantageous for the country in terms of cost.
Slovakia Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš said: “Based on detailed analyses we have chosen the best solution because these jets are modern and state of the art.
“From the perspective of price, quality and capabilities and what we can afford as a country, they have no rival.”
Slovak Republic Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Peter Kažimír said the US Fighting Falcon jets will proposedly replace the Slovak Air Force’s existing fighter aircraft fleet.
The decision has been adopted based on a complete government-to-government agreement with no intermediaries involved in the collaboration.
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Kažimír said: “For me, it is absolutely essential that it is a government-to-government relationship. This means it is between the Slovak Government and the US Government, no intermediaries are involved.”
Under the proposed deal, the US is expected to provide 14 F-16 Block 70 / 72 fighter aircraft, in addition to ammunition, pilot and ground personnel training, and airfield infrastructure development.
Sweden also placed a bid for the sale of the aircraft to Slovakia. In a statement, the Defence Department head said that the Swedish government insisted on negotiating details for its proposed bid only after the Slovak government made the decision.
However, if the Swedish bid had been accepted, some material would have had to be provided by a third party, which would delay the time of the delivery.