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Czech Republic will begin negotiations with the Israeli government on the acquisition of three drones.

| 2022

The Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of Czech Republic will soon begin negotiations with the Israeli government for the acquisition of three HERON 1 unmanned aerial vehicles, including all accessories consisting of ground control stations, data terminals, transport containers and other material. The procurement of these machines is based on the ACR Capability Building Concept, which identifies these machines as key in conducting aerial reconnaissance and performing other tasks for direct combat support and protection of ACR units.

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Czech Republic will begin negotiations with the Israeli government on the acquisition of three drones 01 HERON 1  (Picture source: SICAT)

"Similar to other large acquisitions, we decided on the G2G route, i.e. direct negotiations between governments. It will enable us to set up long-term cooperation and ensure the operation, repairs and supply of spare parts for the supplied military equipment throughout its lifetime," says Minister of Defense Jana Černochová, adding that the agreement between the governments also creates conditions for gaining experience in the use of military equipment by the relevant armed forces country, including verification of technical and military parameters, training experience and combat deployment. This reduces the costs of operation and maintenance in the next period.

The Department of Defense has conducted preliminary market consultations in recent months to determine which drone best meets the military's needs. From these consultations, the HERON 1 type from Israel's state-owned company Israel Aerospace Industries emerged as the best. "Based on an assessment of the individual required parameters, provided by the approached suppliers of unmanned systems to the designated project team of the Ministry of Defence, the selected means most closely corresponds to the expected use within the Czech Army and meets future requirements for full-scale use, both in the Czech Republic as part of training and for possible use as part of supporting units in foreign operations," says Colonel Pavel Nakládal, who evaluated this area for the army.

The next step will now be to start negotiations with the aim of achieving the lowest possible price and at the same time the shortest possible delivery date. "I believe that the contract will be concluded this year," said Defense Minister Jana Černochová.

The IAI Heron (Machatz-1) is a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by the Malat division of Israel Aerospace Industries. It is capable of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) operations of up to 52 hours' duration at up to 10.5 km (35,000 ft). It has demonstrated 52 hours of continuous flight, but the effective operational maximal flight duration is less, according to payload and flight profile

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