Army wants to keep Gripens on after 2015


The supersonic Jas-39 Gripens, leased from Sweden, should stay in the Czech military's armament even after 2015 when the contract expires, Deputy Defence Minister Frantisek Padělek told journalists in Prague on Tuesday. The minister said the fighter jets had proved their worth during the military’s participation in a NATO operation protecting Baltic air space from May to September of this year. In 2004 the Czech Republic leased 14 Gripens from Sweden for some 20 billion crowns, replacing the outdated Soviet-made MiG-21s.