This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

Czech Air Force's Gripen fighter jets completed MS 20 upgrade


By Nathan Gain

Czech Air Force's JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets are now upgraded and deployed in the latest version, announced the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV). This program provides Czech pilots with access to new weapons, sensors and communication solutions, radar functions and improvements in the interface between the pilot and the aircraft.


Czech Air Force s Gripen fighter jets completed MS 20 upgrade 001 Czech Air Force's JAS 39C fighter jet
(Credit: Jan Kouba/Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of the Czech Republic)



The Czech Republic becomes the first country after Sweden to operate the Gripen aircraft in the MS 20 block standard. This means a significant boost compared to earlier for virtually everything in the system. The Czech Air Force currently operates a fleet of 12 JAS 39C single-seat and two JAS 39D double-seat multirole fighter jets.

"Thanks to the modernization of the Czech JAS-39 Gripen aircraft, the Czech Air Force's operational capability will increase significantly. Our staff have appreciated the close and fruitful cooperation with the Swedish side of this modernization project, as well as the cooperation during the 13 years we have used JAS 39 Gripen," said Petr Tománek, the Čáslav Air Force Base fleet manager.

The MS 20 upgrade involves both new weapons, sensors and communication upgrades, as well as new radar functions and improvements in the interface between the pilot and the aircraft.

"There were many people in different official structures and companies in a number of countries involved in this, which has greatly contributed to the fact that the Czechs are now flying with their new system," said Mikael Löfgren, project manager for Gripen Czech Republic at FMV.

The Czech Air Force put the aircraft into active combat duty and manages emergency preparedness and other assignments with the upgraded fighter jets. The Czech Air Force put the aircraft into active combat duty and manages emergency preparedness and other assignments with the upgraded fighter jets. 

"During the year we will support the Czechs with the introduction of the systems they themselves acquired and integrated into the Gripen system," said Mikael Löfgren.

"We also have a number of training initiatives planned and, of course, also perform the usual operating and support activities according to the agreements we have with the Czech Republic."