Czech military eyes mid-range air defense systems

WARSAW, Poland — The Czech Defence Ministry is planning to purchase four batteries of mid-range air defense systems, which will be integrated with the Israeli 3-D mobile radars that are to be supplied to the country’s military.

Czech Defense Ministry sources told local daily Pravo that the agency aims to award the missile contract by the end of this year. The procurement is estimated to be worth about 11 billion koruna (U.S. $469 million). Under the plan, some 30 percent of the deal will be awarded to Czech defense companies. 

The air defense systems are to be enabled with a range of up to 50 kilometers. Last year, Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky announced the country’s military will acquire eight ELM-2084 multi-mission radars from Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, under a contract worth some 2.9 billion koruna. Deliveries of the radars, which were developed for the Iron Dome and will replace the Czech military’s Soviet-designed equipment, are scheduled for the years 2019 to 2021. 

The announcement comes as Prague is planning to raise its military expenditure in the coming years. Stropnicky has said that the country’s defense budget could reach 2 percent of its gross domestic product by 2025. This year, the Czech Republic is to spend about 1.08 percent of its GDP on its armed forces, which represents the highest ratio since 2012.

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