WARSAW, Poland — Slovakia’s Defense Minister Peter Gajdos has signed three separate, preliminary Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOAs) with the United States to acquire 14 F-16 Block 70/72 fighters for the Slovak air force, but it was subsequently revealed that the ministry failed to obtain the rest of the government’s approval for the decision.
Under the signed agreements, the aircraft are to be acquired the by the end of 2023 under a program estimated to be worth about €1.6 billion (US $1.8 billion). The fighters are to replace Slovakia’s Soviet-designed Mikoyan MiG-29 jets.
“The final decision on the signing of the agreement on the replacement of the [Slovak] Air Forceʼs fighter jet fleet falls fully within the competence of the [Slovak] government. The MoD has never cast any doubt whatsoever on this proposition,” the ministry said in a Dec. 1 statement.
Representatives of Slovakia’s opposition party Ordinary People (OĽaNO) have called on the country’s Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini to dismiss Gajdos, accusing the minister of pursuing the acquisition in a disorganized manner and without adequate public supervision.
“With such major spending, it is important to make procurements perfectly prepared and under public control,” Veronika Remisova, a member of parliament for the OĽaNO party, said on Facebook Dec. 4.