Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The armed forces of the Czech Republic and Switzerland may lease A400M military transport planes from Germany.
The move was announced by Czech military leaders, who say the motion is still awaiting approval from Berlin. Defense News reports the lease is being considered as officials in Prague deliberate how to upgrade and expand the country's airlifter fleet.
"We expect that, in the coming weeks or months, we will obtain a concrete proposal to cooperate from the German side, and subsequently, it will be internally analyzed by the ministry," Czech defense ministry spokesman Petr Medek told local media.
The Czech Republic is eyeing Lockheed Martin's C-130 Hercules and Embraer's KC-390 aircraft as permanent purchases. The country's military currently operates 17 transport aircraft, including Soviet-era Yakovlev Yak-40 planes.
Berlin's potential deal with the Swiss and Czech governments was announced as Germany investigates technical issues with its own Airbus A400M fleet. According to Germany-based English-language newspaper Deutsche Welle, an A400M carrying German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen broke down on the tarmac during a visit to Lithuania.
During the investigation, engineers uncovered an oil leak in one of the plane's four engines.
Earlier in February, RT reported only one of Germany's eight A400M planes is currently operational. Three of the planes have been grounded for unscheduled repairs, with an additional two set for further inspection.