Bratislava, July 11 (TASR) – The decision to purchase F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets was made unanimously at the Government session on Wednesday, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (a Smer-SD nominee) said after the session.
Lajcak also lent his own support to the motion. “We have a commitment to bolster our defence spending as a NATO member up to 2 percent [of GDP]. The Defence Ministry will be continuously receiving more money and that money cannot go to waste. It’s about making our armament compatible with NATO standards,” stated Lajcak, adding that the Russian jet fighters that Slovakia still uses don’t fit the bill. “We’re the only Visegrad Four country (V4: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) that still uses Russian fighter jets.”
According to Lajcak, the fact that the Government signed off on the procurement doesn’t mean that the money will be put on the table here and now, but rather stretched out into instalments over many years. He underlined that the decision was made after a long, comprehensive discussion among experts at the Slovak Security Council and later at the Government session, attended also by Defence Ministry officials.
Slovakia is to buy 14 tactical supersonic F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets and, in this respect, will conclude the relevant contractual ties with the US Government. For the set of 14 aircraft, training, munitions and logistics support, Slovakia will pay €1.589 billion over the following years.