WARSAW, Poland — The Czech Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces and the Swiss Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports are considering a joint lease of 13 Airbus A400M transport aircraft from the German Bundeswehr. The Czech ministry is awaiting an official offer from Berlin, according to Petr Medek, the ministry's spokesman.
“We expect that, in the coming weeks or months, we will obtain a concrete proposal to cooperate from the German side, and subsequently, it will be internally analyzed by the ministry,” Medek told local daily Pravo.
To expand and upgrade its transport aircraft fleet, Prague has been planning to acquire at least two new aircraft, with some of the considered options including Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Hercules or Embraer’s KC-390 aircraft.
Currently, the Czech armed forces operate 17 transport aircraft, including the Soviet-designed Yakovlev Yak-40 and local make Let L-410, as well as the Bombardier CL-601 Challenger and the Airbus CASA C-295M aircraft, according to data from the Defence Ministry. The country’s military also owns two Airbus A-319 CJs.
Germany’s Defence Ministry has ordered 53 A400Ms from Airbus, down from the initial order of 60 aircraft. In 2011, the German parliamentary budget committee approved a plan to sell 13 A400Ms to other countries as part of efforts to cut defense spending. However, the Bundeswehr has instead opted to lease the aircraft to Germany’s partners, as reported by local paper Süddeutsche Zeitung.