BRATISLAVA Jan 11 Slovakia has received several
offers for the purchase or lease of a fleet of fighter jets,
including JAS-39 Gripen jets by made by Sweden's,
Defence Minister Peter Gajdos said on Wednesday.
The central European NATO member operates a fleet of ageing
Russian MiG-29 jets. The minister refused to say how many offers
the government had received and from which countries or
"We have received the offers, we are analysing them, there
will be talks with the countries that have placed an offer, not
just Sweden, and after discussing them with the finance ministry
I will submit a proposal for the government's approval," Gajdos
told reporters after a regular government meeting.
The three-party government led by Prime Minister Robert
Fico, re-elected for a second consecutive term in March, has
been in talks with Saab on the lease of Gripens.
In September, the government extended the minister's mandate
to negotiate with different suppliers to get the best price.
Gajdos said it could take months to analyse the offers
before the government picks one.
The Slovak government in December approved a "Joint Sky"
agreement with the Czech Republic, which has a fleet of 14
leased Saab Gripens. The Czech government has also approved the
accord, which still needs ratification by the parliaments of
The deal means the two could help protect each other's air
space beyond the standard air defence cooperation within NATO.
If Slovakia picked the same fighter jets, the two countries
could also share maintenance and pilot training.
Slovakia operates 12 MiG 29s that were modernised in
(Reporting By Tatiana Jancarikova; editing by Richard Lough)