MP interpellated PM Babiš about the purchase of self-propelled guns – prime minister assures him the Government demands the maximum in terms of the Czech defense industry participation

MP interpellated PM Babiš about the purchase of self-propelled guns – prime minister assures him the Government demands the maximum in terms of the Czech defense industry participation
26 / 10 / 2020, 10:00

MP Karel Krejza turned to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš about the involvement of Czech industry in the public contract for the acquisition of 155 mm NATO guns. The involvement of the Czech defense industry in the strategic contracts of the Ministry of Defense is currently crucial, according to the deputy. He also considers it essential to negotiate the production of ammunition in the Czech Republic. The Prime Minister confirmed that the Government is negotiating the maximum possible conditions.

"One of the basic requirements set by the contracting authority is 40% involvement of Czech industry in this public contract. Involvement of Czech industry is required in the production of the cannon itself, not only its chassis, but also the firearm. The goal of the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic is to obtain the maximum possible involvement of domestic industry in the actual production of the guns, "wrote Prime Minister Babiš in response.

See also: Members of the Defense Committee on the purchase of CAESARs: do not buy without the required involvement of Czech industry

He thus explicitly confirmed the Czech Republic's interest in 40% involvement of Czech industry directly in the initial delivery, with the fact that involvement in servicing the guns within the life cycle and in the production of ammunition is also required, both in its parts, ie in powder filling and the shells themselves. Such a request is logical and was repeated by the members of the Defense Committee. It will require the certification of Czech ammunition by the French supplier of the guns.

"The goal of the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic is to acquire the ability to service and repair the guns and produce ammunition in the Czech Republic by domestic industry, which is a legitimate security interest of the state," Andrej Babiš added.

Such a strong statement by the Prime Minister is crucial in the whole contract, especially because it was Andrej Babiš who pre-negotiated the purchase of these weapons in France, and it is the Prime Minister who also has a decisive say if the contract should become unsatisfactory and thus stopped by the Government. His position is therefore more important in this respect than the proclamation of the Ministry of Defense, whose task is to process the purchase of the guns, but cannot in itself decide to stop it if the supplier is not able to fully comply with the Czech party's requirements.

See also: Czech defense industry can produce the 155mm artillery ammunition - and should also supply it for new CAESAR howitzers

"The French side has been strongly warned several times by the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic that the involvement of the Czech defense industry in all areas is a priority in this public contract. During the negotiations, the French side confirmed that it is negotiating with several Czech companies with the common goal of concluding subcontracts," the Prime Minister assured MP Krejza in his answer. The expression "warned several times" suggests that negotiations are not easy, and the whole process requires the attention not only of the government, but also of control by MPs and the general public.

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