US State Department approves sale of 24 F-35 fighter jets in $5.62 billion deal

Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II
Karolis Kavolelis /

The US State Department has approved the potential sale of 24 Lockheed Martin F-35 conventional take-off and landing fighter jets.  

The proposed sale of the F-35A, worth up to $5.62 billion, was announced on Thursday, June 29, 2023, and includes a vast array of additional military equipment, ammunition and weapons.  

Amongst this assortment is 25 Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 and 70 AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles. 

“The proposed sale will improve the Czech Republic’s defense capabilities as well as support NATO operations by guarding against modern threats and maintaining a constant presence in the region. The Czech Republic will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces,” said a spokesperson for the State Department

The State Department was keen to stress that the “proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region”. 

The principal contractors involved will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Raytheon Missiles and Defense and The Boeing Company. 

News began to surface in 2022 that the Czech Republic were considering the replacement of the 14 JAS-39 Gripen C/D fighters with F-35A fighters. 

At the time, the other candidates being considered were the newer Gripen E/F, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Lockheed Martin F-16V.  

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