Since April 2005 the Vzdušné síly armády České republiky (CzAF, Czech Air Force) has been leasing JAS39 Gripen fighter aircraft from the Swedish company Saab. In total twelve single seat JAS39Cs and two JAS39Ds are leased. The first leasing period was ten years and was extended with another twelve years till 2027.
A representative from Saab said “If the east European country decides not to extend the lease of fourteen Gripen C and D’s that are set to expire in 2027, extendable to 2029, the Gripen E and F would be the logical decision. Countries using Gripen C and D’s today can in the future undergo a seamless transition to Gripen E and F, reusing part of the ground support equipment and support system”.
The Czech Air Force will make the type decision by 2025, two years before the lease of the Gripen C and D’s will end in 2027.
Saab begins with the delivery of the Gripen E and F models to the Brazilian and Swedish Air Force early next year. Saab should also be talking with the Finnish Government about replacing the aging F/A-18 Hornets by the Gripen E and F’s.