US OKs $5.6B F-35 Fighter, Munition Sale to Czech Republic

The US State Department has approved the potential foreign military sale of F-35 Lightning II fighter jets and munition to the Czech Republic.

According to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announcement, Prague has requested 24 F-35s in the conventional take-off and landing configuration.

It also seeks to procure 25 Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines, 70 AIM-120C-8 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles, and 86 StormBreaker all-up rounds.

The request included 12 Mk-84 general purpose bombs, 12 KMU-556/KMU-557 Joint Direct Attack Munition tail kits, and 50 AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles.

The potential sale has an estimated total value of $5.62 billion.

The DSCA said that the proposed sale would improve the Czech Republic’s defense capabilities amid evolving threats.

It would also allow the European nation to better support NATO operations by maintaining a constant presence in the region.

Troubled Electronics Upgrade

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 is regarded as the most lethal, advanced fighter aircraft in the US Air Force inventory.

It features state-of-the-art weapons and components that give the military a strategic advantage against any adversary.

The US approval of a potential F-35 sale to Prague comes as the service struggles to push through with a $16.5-billion electronics upgrade on the combat aircraft.

Supply delays have reportedly hampered the installation of a new radar that analysts say is twice as capable as the jet’s current radar systems.

The new radar will also be capable of jamming enemy sensors before they can detect incoming US aircraft.

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