Czech Republic negotiates acquisition of Israeli Spyder air defense missile systems

According to information published by the "Armadni Noviny" website on August 3, 2021, the Czech Ministry of Defense negotiates the acquisition of Israeli Rafael Spyder mobile air defense missile systems to replace Soviet-made2K12 Kub, NATO reporting name SA-6 Gainful currently in service with the Czech army.
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Spyder MR air defense missile system. (Picture source Army Recognition)

According to the military balance 2020, air defense systems of Czech armed forces consist of 9K35 Strela-10 NATO code name SA-13 Gopher, 9K32 Strela-2 NATO code name SA-7 Grail, RBS-70 MANPADS, and 2K12 Kub NATO code name SA-6 Gainful.

The government of Czech Republic is trying to replace legacy equipment in order to both modernize the armed forces and reduce dependence on Russia for spare parts and services. Modernization priorities include infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled howitzers, multi-role helicopters, transport aircraft, short-range air-defense systems, and UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).

The 2K12 Kub is a Soviet-made self-propelled air defense missile system that entered into service with the Russian armed forces in 1967. The vehicle is based on a tracked chassis with three Kub missiles mounted on a turntable that can be traversed through a full 360º with the missile elevated on their launchers to a maximum of +85º. When traveling, the turntable is normally traversed to the rear and the missiles are horizontal to reduce the overall height of the vehicle.

Four variants of the missile is available, the Kub M2 is in service with the Czech armed forces and has an effective firing range of 23 km. The missile is fitted with a 59 kg HE (High Explosive) fragmentation warhead.

The Spyder is a family of short/extended/medium/long-range air defense missile systems fully designed and manufactured by the Israeli company Rafael. It can be used to destroy aerial targets as fighter aircraft, helicopters, bombers, cruise missiles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs), and stand-off weapons.

The Spyder systems incorporate the most advanced, proven performance air-to-air missiles including the Python-5 dual waveband imaging infrared missile, , the I-Derby active radar beyond visual range missile, and I-Derby ER long-range missile, based on two pulses advanced rocket motors.

The Spyder family has autonomous capabilities. The system detects threats while on the move and firing is performed instantly after the halt. The Python has a firing range from 5 to 20 km with a maximum altitude of 9,000 m, while the Derby has a maximum firing range of 50 km with an altitude of 16,000 m.

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Czech army 2K12 Kub SA-6 Gainful Soviet-made air defense missile system. (Picture source Army Recognition)