IDET 2019 - International Defence and Security Technologies Fair in Brno

IDET 2019 - International Defence and Security Technologies Fair in Brno
03 / 06 / 2019, 09:15

The elite of the Czech defence industry, mostly members of the Association of Defence and Security Industry (DSIA, AOBP) of the Czech Republic and a number of important companies from abroad, met at this year’s edition of IDET: the International Defence and Security Technologies Fair in Brno. Except for the absence of the President Miloš Zeman, the opening day of the fair was attended by important political figures headed by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar. The Prime Minister visited the expositions of leading Czech companies such as Czechoslovak Group (CSG), Česká zbrojovka or Omnipol. All bidders for the tracked IFV tender were present: however, the Government delegation did not visit their stands.

Among the major exhibitors we can not forget the American company Lockheed Martin, manufacturer of the F-16 fighter jets, which are now in service in neighboring Poland and is also being acquired by Slovakia; as well as manufacturer of the F-35 Lightning II 5th-generation fighter aircraft, requested by Poland recently, and possibly also by Hungary. With its presence at IDET 2019, the Lockheed Martin company is launching a debate on the future of the Czech Air Force fighter aircraft. The JAS-39 Gripen lease contract expires in 2027.

See also: Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: JAS-39 Gripen

In the same way, the presence of KMW and Nexter, which in addition to the massive French wheeled Infantry Fighting Vehicle VBCI, introduced the Main Battle Tank Leopard 2A7, is also to be seen as a strong start to discussing the future of the Czech Army. The current T-72M4 CZ tanks will remain in service until at least 2025, and will also undergo further upgrades for this purpose, however, their life cycle is coming to an end.

See also: The Czech Army Main Battle Tanks Question

Other exhibitors include companies dedicated to the development and production of Anti-Aircraft systems, such as MBDA and Rafael. They are both likely to bid for the Air Defense systems to replace the Czech Republic's 2K12 KUB.

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

No suprise that the greatest attention was given to the exposition of four companies that offer the tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles to the Czech army, or platforms on which all seven demanded variants of this type of armored vehicles can exist: BAE Systems with its CV90, which presented a recovery variant in Brno, and also a self-propelled mortar variant (which is subject of another modernization project); Rheinmetall Defence with the Lynx IFV, which is the most recent of the four vehicles, GDELS with the ASCOD II, and finally PSM with the Puma IFV, which has been discussed in recent weeks with regard to the newly unveiled manned turret requirement: Puma is fitted with an unmanned turret.

Rheinmetall's exposition of ammunition

See also: Czech Army’s Modernization Projects: the IFVs

In front of the Hall P, where IDET exhibitors and stands were located, there was the Sikorski UH-60 Black Hawk multi-purpose helicopter. Famous not only thanks to the movie Black Hawk Down, but also a machine that is being spoken of in connection with another major tender for the Czech Armed Forces: the acquisition of 12 multi-purpose helicopters to replace the Mi-24/35 (Mi-24V), currently in service with the 221st Helicopter Squadron. During a press conference, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said that the Czech Republic will acquire these helicopters in the US. Despite a cost-effective offer from Leonardo, Italy; Minister of Defence Metnar was arguing that the military needed helicopters with combat experience.

See also: Military expert Jaroslav Macošek – Czech multipurpose helicopters acquisition project

On the second day a press conference held by První brněnská strojírna Velká Bíteš (PBS), which is the leader in the Czech aerospace industry, and produces jet engines, auxiliary energy or air conditioning units for airplanes and helicopters, including military. At IDET, the company introduced its top products, which are being succesfully exported to dozens of countries around the world. The company's commercial success is largely based on its own development, in which PBS is investing heavily - its rewards are its original and demanded solutions.

Other important exhibitors included Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod, whose exposition enjoyed considerable interest from the professional and general public. Attention was drawn to the self-propelled mortar on wheel chassis from Patria and current and historical equipment from the armament of the Czech and Czechoslovak army, including the very first combat tank which had served in the Czechoslovak army, the Renault FT-17.

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