By 2030 Czech Army should have 40 thousand soldiers backed with modern weapon systems and good budget, new concept says

By 2030 Czech Army should have 40 thousand soldiers backed with modern weapon systems and good budget, new concept says
28 / 10 / 2019, 09:30

Next week the Government will approve a new concept of construction of the Czech Army. In 2030, it should have up to 30,000 professional soldiers and 10,000 Active Reserve soldiers. According to the concept, the budget of the Ministry of Defence should reach two percent of GDP in 2024 (it is 1,19% for 2019). According to current estimates, this could mean defence spending of about CZK 133 billion (USD 5.8 billion), now it is CZK 66.7 billion (USD 2.9 billion). In 2030, the defence could eventually work with about 150 billion crowns (USD 6.5 billion).

At the beginning of this year, 21,500 professional soldiers served in the Army; at full strenght of the acutal units, the Army should field 25,000 soldiers. It has been previously decided that this number will gradually increase to 30 thousand. The concept envisages that by 2020 the numbers of soldiers should reach almost 23,000 soldiers, in 2025 there should be 27,245 and five years later 30,000. However, the recruitment of new recruits is identified as one of the risks of the concept. In order to reach the required numbers, the army will need about 2,400 new soldiers a year to cover the retirement of soldiers from active service while ensuring an increase of about 800 to 900 soldiers. The quality of the recruits is currently being discussed, as to reach the desired numbers, the requirements are rather low.

See also: Czech Army’s Active Reserve – numbers are rising (should be 5,000 by 2025)

Professional soldiers are to be completed and supported by Active Reserve soldiers. Now they are about 3,000. By 2025 the plan want them to be 5700 and in 2030 they should reach 10 thousand.

The acquisitions projects are of major importance. The acquisition of 210 tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles will cost over 50 billion crowns (USD 2.3 billion). But the Ministry of Defence will have to invest tens of billions of crowns into other modern technologies or modifications to the existing ones.

See also: The Czech Army military equipment overview 2019

The present concept envisages the achievement of the required status in two steps, which are to be completed by 2025 and by 2030. The first will mean that the Czech army will be “ready to defend the interests of the Czech Republic”. By 2025 the military should get all tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles, new 120mm self-propelled mortars, new 155mm self-propelled guns (for the 13th Artillery Regiment) and new light assault vehicles (for the newly formed airborne regiment). At the same time, the T-72s Main Battle Tanks are to be upgraded (the 73rd Tank Battalion), the 15th Engineer Regiment will get new pontoon and launched bridges, the 31st Regiment of Radiological, Chemical and Biological Protection is getting new special vehicles. The Air Force will continue to lease the JAS-39 Gripens, airmen will get new CASA transport aircraft, and helicopters to replace the Russian Mi-24/35. The 25th Air Defence Missile Regiment is to get a new SHORAD system.

See also: Modernization Projects of the Czech Army

The second milestone will be the year 2030: the army wants to buy new tanks, modernize the Pandur II CZ wheeled Infantry Fighting Vehicles, and purchase more to equip the 44th light motorized battalion which would become a mechanized infantry battalion (currently the 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade has 2 mechanized, 1 airborne and 1 light battalion). The Army will also have to decide on the future of the supersonic fighters (either further modernize the JAS-39 Gripen or purchase/lease a new type), and replacement of the Mi-8 transport helicopters will also be necessary. It also plans to acquire a Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar (C-RAM) and anti-drone defence systems, and new UAV’s.

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