Czech Republic signs CZK 13.7 billion contract to acquire Israeli-made defense system

The SHORAD (Short Range Air Defence) can detect and eliminate aircraft, drones, helicopters and flat-track guided missiles.


Written by ČTK Published on 05.10.2021 15:59:00 (updated on 05.10.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, Oct 5 (CTK) - The Czech Defence Ministry signed a deal today to purchase a new air defense system from the Israeli government to be supplied by the state-run company Rafael Israeli for CZK 13.7 billion.

The contract for four batteries of the SPYDER air defence system was signed by Deputy Defence Minister Lubor Koudelka, in charge of acquisitions, and Israeli Defence Ministry Director General Amir Eshel.

The SHORAD (Short Range Air Defence) system is designed to protect cities, nuclear power plants, airports, industrial centres and other important premises. It is able to detect and eliminate aircraft, drones, helicopters and flat-track guided missiles.

SHORAD will replace the Soviet KUB system from the 1970s with Czech military equipment. Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar (for ANO) informed the government about details of the contract last week.

The Czech defense industry will take part in some 38 per cent of the contract, 8 per cent more than originally required by the ministry.

Based on market analysis from 2016, the Defence Ministry previously estimated it would pay some CZK ten billion for the system, but the Israeli producer eventually asked for 15.7 billion. During the talks, the Czech defense managed to lower the bid by CZK two billion.

The ministry is of the view that the higher price is due to higher prices of advanced defence technologies in the world market, inflation rise, higher labor and material costs, and the transfer of some technologies and know-how directly to the Czech Republic.

Given the circumstances, the rise in the SHORAD price was insignificant, Koudelka said.

Metnar told a press conference today that the ministry chose the SHORAD out of nine air defense systems. He said the Czech air defense would become at least ten times more effective thanks to the new system. He added that the Czech Republic would retire the Soviet-made KUB system from the 1970s. The SHORADs are to be delivered from 2024 to 2026.

Chief-of-Staff Ales Opata said he was absolutely satisfied with the newly purchased system. He said it was the most modern system that has the potential for further development.

About a dozen people protested against the purchase outside the ministry building today, criticizing Israel for war crimes.

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