Hungary is evaluating responses to its recent request for information on western supersonic fighter aircraft, which it requires from around 2005 to replace its ageing Soviet-era fleet.

BAE Systems says it has proposed the supply of 24 Saab Gripens supported by "a flexible finance package and an innovative industrial co-operation programme". The aircraft would be delivered over a three year period from 2005 and include four two-seaters.

The UK company says that should the Hungarians require a short-term, interim solution, it would be willing to discuss the loan of a small number of Swedish air force Gripens "linked to a longer-term procurement of new aircraft".

The head of the USA's office of defence co-operation in Hungary, Col Michael Hart, says the US Government has responded with an offer of new-build or used Lockheed Martin F-16s and Boeing F/A-18, or "renewed" Boeing F-15Rs from storage.

EADS is offering the Euro-fighter Typhoon, and has a letter of intent from Hungary to upgrade the country's Mikoyan MiG-29s. Also bidding is France's Dassault Aviation with the Mirage 2000-5.

• The Czech Republic has delayed for two weeks the release of a tender for 24-36 fighters.

Source: Flight International