In December 2003, the Czech government decided that Gripen was the best bid for the Czech Republic’s armed forces. It was a complex package consisting of a NATO compatible, tailor-made aircraft and an industrial co-operation programme. It included 14 new aircraft offered through an inventive leasing contract that spread the cost. Fighter aircraft - pay as you fly.
The short lead-time of just 1 year from order to fully operational aircraft made the offer even more impressive. The fighter aircraft was optimised for the air defence role as required by the customer, but was designed to allow full flexibility to upgrade the system to meet future needs. During the aircraft evaluation, the pilots and the ground crews were highly impressed by the performance and features of the Gripen aircraft. This was particularly true of the advanced avionics suite, which created a world-leading working environment for the pilot according to the principle don’t need, don’t show. Other important capabilities were the rapid turn-around time, the extremely low operating costs and the highly-integrated support systems for mission planning, maintenance and training.
Real growth – across the country
The industrial co-operation has been tailored to produce real economic growth and social value far beyond the value of the aircraft contract. The offset obligation is 130 % of the lease for the Gripen aircraft, thus creating business value for the Czech domestic defence and aerospace sector, as well as Civil Security. The participating industries are located across the country, distributing the benefits of the co-operation efforts throughout the Czech Republic.