Slovakia prefers F-16V to Gripen

Big disappointment in Sweden, because Slovakia announced it was ordering 14 F-16Vsto the American Lockheed to replace its Mig-29 inherited from the Soviet era. The Slovak authorities justified their decision on long-term cost considerations, arguing that the F16V was significantly cheaper to use until 2040 than the Gripen.

And it's a surprise, because Saab's main argument has always been a particularly attractive price per use, announced at $6000 per flight hour, approximately the same as that of the mirage2000.

However, Slovakia will still pay a bill of €1,2 billion for its 14 F16Vs, or 85 million euros per aircraft. This is obviously not the unit price of an F16V (estimated at $65 million), the contract most likely including spare parts, Air-Air and Air-Ground ammunition, and training.

The fact remains that the US industry has been aligning successes in Europe for some time, to the detriment of European offers, which are just as competitive. This was the case of helicopters in Poland, of Ground-Air systems in Poland, Romania, Germany and Sweden, of combat aircraft in Poland, Slovakia, Romania, etc.

With Europe under fire from President Donald Trump, it seems clear that Eastern European countries have chosen sides in this clash. And can we blame them, given the incapacity of European countries to take care of their own Defense on their own?

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