|Saab JAS 39 Gripen : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saab-JAS-39_at_ILA_2010_05.jpg|
Sweden’s Defence and Security Export Agency said Wednesday the Czech Republic has approved an agreement to lease 14 Gripen fighter aircraft until at least 2026, opening the way to potential new maintenance contracts for the aircraft’s manufacturer, Swedish defense group Saab AB.The Czech Republic first signed a contract in 2004 to lease 14 Gripen jets from Sweden for a ten-year period. The new 12-year contract, which will be finalized next month, also includes training and upgrades to the aircraft, the agency said. It didn’t disclose the value of the deal.
Sweden, Hungary and Thailand also use the jet fighter, which Saab pitches as versatile and cost efficient compared with rival combat aircraft such as Dassault’s Rafale and Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35. Brazil placed an order for 36 new Gripen jets late last year, and Switzerland will hold a referendum in May on whether to buy 22 of the fighters.
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