Bratislava, July 11 (TASR) – Slovakia will purchase 14 US F-16 Block 70/72 tactical fighter jets and will sign the relevant contracts with the US government in this regard, stated Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) at a press conference on Wednesday following a Cabinet session, at which the ministers decided to this effect.
The premier added that, for the package of 14 US fighters, training, ammunition and logistics, Slovakia will pay €1.589 billion over the following years.
The Cabinet at its session accepted a proposal made by Defence Minister Peter Gajdos (SNS) to purchase the US F-16s rather than the Swedish JAS-39 Gripen jets, which were also on offer.
According to Pellegrini, the US government’s bid was evaluated as the most advantageous in terms of money and as the best solution in technical terms.
Given the over 30-year life cycle of the American fighters, the US bid is 8 percent cheaper than Sweden’s, added the premier. However, the initial investment in the US machines alone is several hundred million euros higher compared to the Swedish Gripen jets.