Czech industry will have a significant share in the new SPYDER Air Defense system

Czech industry will have a significant share in the new SPYDER Air Defense system
Author:|Caption: SPYDER
08 / 03 / 2021, 10:00

In the extreme case, the loss of control over own airspace can also mean the loss of state sovereignty, with all the consequences for our security. Therefore, ensuring effective defense of the airspace is one of the main priorities of the Ministry of Defense in the ongoing modernization of our Army. The most significant project of modernization of our Army's Air Defense assets is the acquisition of the new short- and medium-range anti-aircraft missile system (SHORAD) with an estimated value of approximately CZK 10 billion.

The modern Air Defense missile system guarantees highly effective protection of the airspace of the Czech Republic, its critical infrastructure (i.e. civil and industrial centers, power plants, water resources, etc.) and also provides defense against a range of air attacks, including aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles or cruise missiles. Together with the fighter jets and reconnaissance and radar means, it forms the main backbone of the state's Air Defense.

The currently acquired, modern anti-aircraft system SPYDER, manufactured by the Israeli state-owned company Rafael, will replace the outdated Soviet KUB system from the mid-1980s and will mean a fundamental change in the Army's ability to effectively defend airspace over the Czech Republic.

See also: Czech Air Defense: modernization of the RACCOS command and control system and ReVISOR radar sensors

However, the acquisition of 4 batteries of the SPYDER system, from a reliable partner open to foreign cooperation, is only the first step. An equally important part of the project is the contractual provision of the necessary technical support for the entire period of its use.

Only the domestic defense industry can provide such comprehensive support directly on the territory of the Czech Republic, especially in the event of a deterioration of the security situation or the emergence of a sudden crisis, safely for the Army, and with economical efficiency for the state. Therefore, its involvement in the initial phase of negotiations is a basic condition of the Ministry of Defense and will be part of the contractual relationship with a foreign supplier.

See also: Mobile Air Defence Radars (MADR) for the Czech Army – contract signed

In short, the goal of the Ministry of Defense is not only to ensure at least a 30% share of Czech industry when acquiring the system, but also to secure its decisive share in future industrial support of new technology for twenty years or more.

In parallel with the solution of technical issues related to the acquired SPYDER CZE system, a number of working meetings were held between the MoD negotiating team and the Israeli representatives, in compliance with epidemiological measures, in the area of ​​ensuring contractual conditions for industrial cooperation.

With the aim of supporting and developing the Czech industrial base, the meeting was also attended by representatives of the main Czech industrial partner selected by the supplier, RETIA a.s. and representatives of the departmental state enterprise Military Technical Institute (VTÚ). Mutual cooperation was very welcomed and supported by representatives of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and Rafael.

In January and February 2021 representatives of Rafael and RETIA a.s. attended several bilateral meetings with representatives of dozens of selected Czech companies, including virtual tours of their enterprises. Through videoconferences, further meetings were held with the joint participation of representatives of the Armaments and Acquisitions Section and the Industrial Cooperation Section of the Ministry of Defense, the Defense and Security Industry Association, the Czech Chamber of Commerce, and RETIA a.s. and representatives of MoD’s  state enterprises.

See also: Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: SHORAD/MSAM Air Defence Systems

For the Czech industry, the acquisition of an advanced and highly sophisticated Air Defense weapon system and its long-term support will mean both access to the latest technologies and new opportunities for further development of foreign cooperation. At the same time, it will mainly concern technical fields with high added value and fast economic returns, in which Czech companies and research institutes have rich experience and potential for further development. Another important factor of industrial support and its long-term development is also the planned transfer of know-how for all key components of SPYDER CZE batteries.

In this way, the implementation of the strategic project of the Ministry of Defense "Anti-aircraft SHORAD system" can significantly and in long-term contribute to the development of the industrial base of the Czech Republic and become a significant contribution and benefit to future support of the domestic economy.

For the Army, the decisive share of domestic companies in ensuring the operation of new technology will be the best guarantee of safe and reliable operation of the new Air Defense system, which is really of strategic importance for the security of the Czech Republic.


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