Contract for the tracked IFVs will not be reached until after the elections, the Ministry of Defense admits

Contract for the tracked IFVs will not be reached until after the elections, the Ministry of Defense admits
Author: Ministry of Defense|Caption: CV90, LYNX KF41, ASCOD 42
21 / 06 / 2021, 10:00

The tender for the supply of 210 tracked IFVs for 52 billion crowns announced in the spring of 2019 will not be successfully completed by the date of the regular elections. Of course, every further postponement of the deadline has its bulletproof explanation. Most recently, according to the Ministry's answer for Deník N, two out of three applicants are to blame. They asked for an extension of the deadline for submitting the final bid. Even without this, it would not be possible to complete the whole process by the beginning of October, and this will certainly not be the last postponement - there are many steps in which delays may occur. Instead of the effective alternative solution, which the ministry was called on by members of the Defense Committee in March, it will just shrug and the problem will be postponed to the post-election period.

Defense funding is coming under pressure. And hand in hand with that, the Ministry of Defense's poor performance in military acquisitions continues. The future government will face many problems, whether the doubt about the purity of the acquisition of helicopters, raising the price for passive surveillance systems, problematic tank modernization to feed the state-owned company and arguing why not start acquiring modern tanks in the foreseeable future. The argument that the ministry fails to use the allocated funds according to the original intentions will play a role, and the answer that the funds originally allocated, for example, for the first installment for IFVs will be spent on other necessary projects, will not sound very convincing.

See also: The Defense Committee rejected the schedule for the purchase of IFV‘s: The contract should not be signed at the time of the election

The tender for the IFVs, the largest arms order in the history of the independent Czech Republic, has been accompanied by delays from the very beginning. After the announcement of the competition in the spring of 2019 with surprising (especially the manned turret) and debatable requirements (especially the intensive involvement of the VOP CZ state enterprise) the Ministry of Defense was optimistic and envisaged signing the contract in September 2019. During the negotiations on the state budget for 2020, the deadline for signing was postponed until the end of 2020. Even that failed. And the term was further postponed with reference to pandemic complications, among others. In March this year, the MoD presented to the members of the Defense Committee a schedule according to which, in the event of a virtually immediate invitation to tenderers to submit final bids, the contract could, in theory, be signed just before the elections. However, the call for final bids was handed over to the candidates during the presentation day as part of the IFV tests on 27 May.

IFV tests on TV Army youtube channel

The schedule requested by MPs in November and put on the table in March was categorically dismissed as unrealistic, saying it was inappropriate to sign such crucial agreements at the time of the elections. Already in November, they also wanted to know alternative options for the development of the IFV purchase, because even then it was very probable that not only the approaching date of regular parliamentary elections could fundamentally complicate the entire contract. They received only a very formal answer listing the theoretical possibilities of the procedure. In reality, the MoD decided to continue the tender as it was set up, and in fact it had no plan B. The acquisition of IFVs will be dealt with by the government resulting from the October elections, and this may mean further delays, as well as major changes. For the better, in the sense of accelerated acquisition of equipment so that the Czech Republic fulfills its obligation to build a heavy-type brigade task force on 1 January 2026. But for the worse.

Two of the three bidders requested a postponement of the deadline for submitting the final bid, as reported by Deník N, and according to its statement, GDELS and Rheinmetall were to be involved; the third of the applicants, who in the long run indicates the greatest satisfaction with the setting of the competition, applied for an extension allegedly until the end of July. The MoD complied and extended the deadline to all three applicants until 1 September. The March schedule, which included the minimum possible deadlines, set a deadline of one month for the submission of bids. It became three months.

See also: Minister of Defense admitted for the first time that the IFV acquisition may not be achieved before elections. Minister of Industry is asking for a larger share for Czech companies

If we look at the next steps, those will be: assessment and evaluation of bids (minimum 1.5 months), 1.5 months will be available to the Minister’s advisory board, 1 month will have the Ministry of Finance to determine expenditures, 1 month is the minimum period for information to the government, and only then will contracts be concluded between the selected supplier and the MoD, and between the supplier, the MoD and VOP CZ. By submitting the final bids on September 1, we arrive by February 2022, provided that no other delay occurs and that the current and new governments continue the tender without change.

Tags of article

This website uses to provide services, personalize ads, and analyzing visitor cookies. By using this site you agree.More information