Czech pilots in the United States are testing the simulation equipment of the F-35 aircraft

Czech pilots in the United States are testing the simulation equipment of the F-35 aircraft

Three pilots in the United States test simulation equipment ;the F-35

Illustration photo – A photo taken during a press tour of the Lockheed Martin fighter jet factory on November 8, 2022, Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

Prague – Czech military pilots are currently testing a special F-35A aircraft simulation device in the United States. The Czech Republic is considering it as a successor to the currently used gripens. Thanks to a special device, pilots can see a demonstration of the use of these fifth-generation aircraft in special, so-called multi-domain operations directly at the manufacturer in Texas. Vlastimila Cyprisová from the press department of the General Staff told ČTK today.

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The Czech Ministry of Defense is negotiating with the United States government to purchase 24 F-35 fighter jets. The government should decide whether the Czech Republic will buy them by October this year. According to Cyprisová, the Czech Republic is the first country that was given the opportunity, even before the signing of the contract, for its pilots to try a simulation device to demonstrate the operational capabilities of the F-35A. “This is the most complex F-35A aircraft simulation facility directly at the aircraft manufacturer (Lockheed Martin) in Fort Worth (Texas, USA), which in its capabilities exceeds the capabilities of simulation facilities used for training F-35A pilots in tactical squadrons,” stated Cyprisová .

Therefore, the army sent eight tactical air force pilots to the United States, they are in the US from Monday to Friday. “The purpose of the business trip is to demonstrate the operational use of the fifth-generation aircraft by the aircraft manufacturer in multi-domain operations, which have not yet been fully implemented in the Czech Republic,” said the spokeswoman. By sending the pilots, the army promises to familiarize itself with the specific possibilities of operational use of the aircraft. “The findings will be used to specify the operational use of the fifth-generation aircraft within the Army of the Czech Republic, including the identification of requirements for the command and control system. They will also be used to specify the documents of the working team for the government's decision to acquire the fifth-generation aircraft in the areas of operational needs of the Army of the Czech Republic,” added Cyprisová .

Starting negotiations with the American government on the possible purchase of American machines was recommended by an army analysis, according to which the requirements placed on the Czech Air Force after 2040 can only be met by the so-called fifth generation machines. Their only available representative is currently the F-35. Several European countries have purchased or are planning to purchase the same machines in the foreseeable future.

The chief director of the economic section of the Ministry of Defense and head of the negotiating team, Blanka Cupáková, told the daily newspaper Právo in April that the purchase of American machines will cost at least 100 billion crowns. The new planes alone will cost 40 billion crowns, and the rest of the price will go to the training of pilots and personnel, equipment and reconstruction of the Čáslav airport. According to behind-the-scenes speculation, the total price should significantly exceed 100 billion.