© AP Photo / CTK, Jan KollerАмериканские F-16 fighter jets at the airbase in Slovakia. Archival photo© AP Photo / CTK, Jan Koller
Slovakia will pay the United States 1,589 billion euros for 14 F-16 Block 70/72, the decision to purchase earlier on Wednesday accepted the government of the Republic, said at a press conference the Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini.
«This amount will include the planes themselves, as well as training of pilots and ground staff, armament, and logistics services. When choosing fighters, the government was guided not by some geopolitical aspects, but purely technical and economic parameters,» — said the Prime Minister, whose statement was broadcast the network TV channels.
Previously, Pellegrini said that both sides agreed not to report the cost of procurement.
American fighter latest modification will replace the MiG-29 aircraft produced in the USSR in 1980-ies. The first F-16 will begin to enter the Slovak air force after three years.
In addition to the American F-16 Ministry had also considered a proposal by Sweden on the purchase of the fighter JAS-39 C/D Gripen, which are adopted in the neighbouring Czech Republic and Hungary, but are there long-term lease. But in the end, the US proposal of the Slovak defense Ministry has found it more profitable. F-16 fighter jets are also used in another neighboring country — Poland.
During a meeting with reporters, Pellegrini recalled that until 2024, the Ministry of defense can spend on the modernization of the army, including aviation, a total of 11.6 billion euros.