PRAGUE, Czech Republic - Through an agreement with the SAAB-British Aerospace (SAAB-BAe) joint venture, the Czech Republic has ordered 24 single-engine JAS 39 Gripen aircraft. 

The Gripen, a supersonic multi-role fighter, is powered by the RM12, a derivative of GEAE's F404 engine family. The RM12 is produced by Volvo Aero Corp. of Sweden and supported by GEAE's Lynn, Massachusetts, engine production facility. Final engine assembly is performed by Volvo using a production kit supplied by GEAE. 

"We are delighted to be a part of the SAAB-BAe Systems and Volvo Gripen team serving the Czech Republic," said Petr Smida, GE's national executive for the Czech and Slovak Republics. "GEAE has a proven track record in developing industrial cooperation programs worldwide and we are committed to establishing a successful offset program in the Czech Republic." 

The F404 engine family has been in production since 1980 with more than 3,700 engine delivered for several military services worldwide. In addition to the Gripen, the F404 family powers the F-117 Stealth Fighters for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and other governments worldwide, and Singapore's A-4SU Super Skyhawk. A F404 derivative will power the Air Force of the Republic of Korea's T-50 trainer/combat aircraft. 

GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE), a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) is the world's leading manufacturer of jet engines for civil and military aircraft, including engines produced by CFM International, a 50/50 joint company of Snecma of France and GE. GEAE also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine and industrial applications. In addition, GEAE provides comprehensive maintenance support, through its GE Engine Services operation, for GE and non-GE jet engines in service throughout the world. Visit GEAE online at: http://www.geae.com