Czech defence acquisitions in troubles – another tender to be cancelled

Czech defence acquisitions in troubles – another tender to be cancelled
23 / 01 / 2020, 10:00

On 17th January, the Ministry of Defence excluded the last participant from the tender for the supply of a small transport airplane. Two of the three candidates did not meet the requirements according to a press release of the Ministry and were excluded in December. The Swiss company STM Aircraft objected. And Omnipol, the last one, said on Friday, 17th January, that he no longer had the aircraft on offer and could not deliver it. After Christmas significant increase in the budget of the Air Force Development Program by CZK 12 billion, a shocking information that the ministry miscalculated the price of the Deployable Passive ESM Trackers Vera NG and the actual price is double, or after the cancellation of the off-road tender, this is another bad news from the Ministry of Defence in a short time.

Our Air Force needs a small transport aircraft, because the existing ones are obsolete, in poor technical condition and there are not enough for the needs of the government squadron (officially the 241st Transport Squadron operating 2 A319CJs, 1 CL-601-3A and 2 Yaks-40). For the second time the Ministry failed to issue a tender so that the Air Force received a new aircraft which could be deployed to service. The media reported the fact that the Yak-40 service life was about to end already back in 2014. For the first time, the tender was canceled last year, when there was a single bidder and failed to meet the requirements. Now, according to the ministry, one of the bidders actually did meet the requirements, but then Omnipol announced that the actually offered aircraft – Global 5000 – with which he entered the competition, is no longer available.

The announcement, according to the Ministry's press release, came the day after the media reported that the actual owner of the aircraft was unknown and that the plane was registered in the Cayman Islands, operated in Russia and owned (in 2014) by a company based in the Virgin Islands. In addition, this particular aircraft was delivered by the manufacturer in a 13-seat configuration, and although it was not excluded from the tender due to non-compliance with the parameters, it could not meet the requirements (which were 14-19 seats) in that case and would be excluded anyway.

As a result of this development, the government squadron will continue to operate older aircraft or reduce its services for which it is established. For the Czech Republic, the acquisition of an airplane for 14-19 people proves to be a Sisyphus task. Similarly, the military will be traveling in their old ex-soviet UAZs vehicles for a longer time, as the tender for the new ones was also cancelled, and the state also has to pay CZK 1.5 billion for two Deployable Passive ESM Trackers Vera NG, instead of the previously announced and accepted price of 780 million.

The ministry "clarified" this problem by pointing out a mistake in pricing the technology after the old Vera S/M system in 2000. It is noteworthy that when the same two Vera NG radars (with accessories, ie vehicles, generators and everything needed for their operation) were purchased by the NCIA (NATO Communications and Information Agency) in 2014, the cost was CZK 434 millio. Czech Army may certainly need different performance – but the core of the contract is still two passive radars Vera NG. The Czech Republic will pay more then three times more than NATO 6 years ago.

And we can continue: there were problems with the ballistic helmets. The Air Force Development Program is getting more expensive – the increase was approved literally a few days after the signing of the US helicopter contract, criticized by many for its price (already the purchase cost, let alone the operating costs).

And the crucial phase of the tracked IFV megatender is approaching. If the MoD encounters difficulties in those relatively small projects, it is difficult to hope that the 53 billion order will run smoothly and without striking circumstances.

Tags of article

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