Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: Unmanned Aircraft System

Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: Unmanned Aircraft System
Author: 9th ACR Guard Company BAF,|Caption: ScanEagle UAVs in Afghanistan
23 / 08 / 2018, 10:15

In November 2017 the Chief of General Staff General Josef Bečvář said that the Army’s planned acquisitions would include new ScanEagle long-endurance, low-altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from Boeing’s subsidiary Insitu. The drones would be purchased in 2019 under a deal worth about CZK 200 million (USD 9 million). In June 2018 his successor Lieutenant General Aleš Opata confirmed the acquisition aim and presented the requirements for the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

The Czech Army’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are operated by the Unmanned Reconnaissance Aerial Vehicle Company of the 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion, which belongs to the 53rd Regiment of Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare. Between 1999 and 2011 the Army operated the Sojka III, Czech UAVs. Currently the company has one group equiped with the ScanEagle UAVs by Instu (catapult launched, range of 100 km; deployed in Afghanistan), and four squads operating the RQ-11B Ravens produced by AeroVironment Company (small hand-launched remote-controlled, range of 10 km). In November 2009 the Army also purchased two Israeli Skylark II UAVs, a close-range tactical unmanned air vehicle system designed to carry out intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance operations.

See also: Hybrid Threats: artificial intelligence, cybernetics and robotics

The aim of the planned acquisition is to procure new generation of reconnaissance Unmanned Air System ScanEagle, weight class over 20 kg, capable to carry reconnaissance optoelectronic and communication systems. The acquisition will allow to continue the operation capability of the Czech Army to directly support the ground forces within the ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) system.


  • At least 10 aircraft;
  • 2 control and analytic stations;
  • 2 mobile catapult launchers;
  • 2 mobile recovery systems;
  • Lifetime of 8 years (minimum).

1. Reconnaissance and operation capabilities

  • Conduct aerial reconnaissance under VFR (Visual Flight Rules) with multifunction DAY/NIGHT sensors;
  • On-line data and information transmission through DDL (Digital Data Link), data format according to STANAG 7085;
  • Range: 100 km;
  • Service ceiling: 5,000 m;
  • Endurance: 20 hours;
  • Speed: 220 km/h;
  • Weight: 75 kg (should read 20 kg);
  • Control system: LOS (Line Of Sight);
  • Inertial navigation system.

There are also plans to acquire combat UAVs after 2020; these will be treated in a future article.

See also: Modernization Projects of the Czech Army

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