PRAGUE, Czechia – The commanders of the air forces of Czechia and Germany discussed the planning of future operations and joint training related to the introduction of F-35 aircraft. Both Allies’ governments approved the purchase enabling fifth generation fighter integration in the air forces.
This will not only contribute to strengthening the defence capabilities of both countries, but also to better coordination and effectiveness of international operations
The multi-purpose F-35 aircraft represent the pinnacle of technological advancement and capabilities, and they are the only serially produced 5th generation aircraft in the world. Germany plans to introduce the first aircraft into service in 2026, and the first planes are expected to arrive in Czechia at the beginning of the next decade. The Czech Army expects to achieve full operational capability in 2035.
One key point of discussion between the German Air Chief, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, and his Czech counterpart, Major General Petr Čepelka was the strategy of joint training. Photo by Petr Mikel.
In the Czech Air Force, the fifth generation jets are scheduled to arrive at the beginning of the next decade - photo shows a Czech JAS-39 Gripen with an F-35 at an air show. Archive photo by Martin Král.
Germany plans to introduce the first F-35 aircraft into service in 2026 - photo show a Netherlands F-35 flying with a German Eurofighter during a training flight. Archive photo courtesy Bundeswehr.
One of the key points of discussion between the Chief Commander of the German Air Force, Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, and his Czech counterpart, Major General Petr Čepelka was the strategy of joint training, which will provide the pilots of both air forces with top-notch capabilities and necessary experience. "This will not only contribute to strengthening the defence capabilities of both countries, but also to better coordination and effectiveness of international operations," noted General Čepelka. "This investment in modern air forces is evidence of the determination of both countries to maintain a safe and stable region," he emphasized.
According to the Commander of the Luftwaffe, the joint approach to the introduction of F-35 aircraft creates not only a strong alliance between Germany and Czechia but also an important step towards the future development of air forces in Europe.
The generals also discussed the possibilities of cooperation in the comprehensive European air defence project called the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) and plans for joint exercises in 2024 and 2025, and the initiation of preparations for the Czech personnel for the Joint Air Force Component (JFAC) in 2027.
Germany will be a special partner country at this year's 24th NATO Days and 14th Czech Air Force Days. "This concept offers a unique presentation of the selected country, which can showcase its armed forces, security forces, as well as products of companies operating in the defense and security industry to an extraordinary extent," noted General Čepelka.