Czech Republic - Defense acquisition plans for 2019 and beyond

In a meeting held on December 17th, Minister Lubomir Metnar apprised the Czech Government of upcoming defence acquisition public tender plans for the Czech Armed Forces.

Hungary New defense acquisition plans for 2019 and beyond 2
Nexter Titus armored personnel carrier (Picture source: Army Recognition)

This acquisition plan covers several different types of armament and equipment.

Tracked infantry fighting vehicles – It is the largest modernisation project in the Czech armed forces history. The Ministry of Defence will invite four selected manufactures to present their bids to supply 210 pieces of tracked infantry fighting vehicles in seven different versions. The contract with the winning bidder should be signed in August 2019, and the vehicles will subsequently be delivered between the years 2020 and 2025. Their life-span is expected to be 30 years.

Wheeled armored personnel carriers – The contract for delivery of 62 Nexter Titus-type armored personnel carriers will be signed before April 2019 with Eldis Pardubice s.r.o., a Czech manufacturer that has both a production licence and security clearance. Delivery is also expected between 2020 and 2025.

Small arms – Another Czech manufacturer, Ceska zbrojovka, based in Uhersky Brod, will deliver up to 14,000 assault rifles and 20,000 pistols. The contract will be signed in March 2019.

Mobile medium air defense radars – Minister Metnar also informed the Government that the Ministry of Defense would buy eight medium air defense mobile radars (MADR) from Israel. Due to the recent speculations and doubts surrounding the original public tender, Minister Metnar cancelled the invitation to tender and instead will directly approach the Israeli Government. The contract will be signed by mid-2019, and the first radar will be operational in the Czech Republic within 22 months.

RBS-70NG contract – signed. On December 18th, SAAB Dynamics AB, represented by Mr. Kristian Wallin, signed a contract to deliver 16 RBS-70NG air defense missile systems to the 25th Air Defense Missile Regiment in Strakonice. The contract was countersigned by Daniel Kostoval, Deputy Minister of Defence for Armaments and Acquisitions, and Major General Jaromir Zuna, Director of the Support Division of the MoD. The total cost will be over CZK 949 million (excl. of VAT), and the systems will be delivered between 2020 and 2021.

"This government’s priority, as well as mine, is to significantly strengthen the long-term security and defense capability of the Czech Republic. This can only be achieved by accomplishing these important armaments projects," said Minister Metnar and continued, "In our endeavour to modernise our military and its equipment, we are, at the same time, maintaining and supporting our domestic defense industry".

Chief of the General Staff General Ales Opata also expressed his wholehearted support for the upcoming acquisitions. "The procurement of this new equipment will be the key to taking our armed forces to a level that will meet the challenges of the 21st century. It will also necessitate decommissioning our obsolete materiel to comply with current NATO standards," said General Opata.