The Infantry Fighting Vehicles tender for CZK 52 billion - vehicle tests started

The Infantry Fighting Vehicles tender for CZK 52 billion - vehicle tests started
Author: BAE Systems|Caption: CV90
29 / 04 / 2021, 10:00

After several delays explained by the government's anti-epidemic measures, tests of functional samples of tracked IFVs, a necessary part of the ongoing tender for 210 of these vehicles in seven variants with an estimated maximum value of CZK 52 billion, were started. The tests will last until the beginning of June and will be evaluated for two weeks afterwards. The aim of the tests is to verify that the offered vehicles meet the required tactical and technical parameters.

The vehicles were transported to the Czech Republic last week. There are three types of IFV from three suppliers: ASCOD 42 from the American company GDELS, CV90 MKIV from the British-Swedish manufacturer BAE Systems and LYNX KF41 from the German company Rheinmetall Landsysteme. In addition to the basic variant, the Ministry of Defense will also acquire command, reconnaissance, engineering, medical, recovery and artillery reconnaissance vehicles for the Czech Army, and modern IFVs will be able to fully replace existing tracked armored vehicles and their variants. Most will serve as part of the 7th Mechanized Brigade, and the goal is to rearm the troops so that the Czech Republic fulfills its commitment to form a modern brigade task force on January 1, 2026.

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

The tests will be aimed at verifying the parameters declared by the manufacturers in the documentation, which the Army of the Czech Republic requires from new vehicles, and which relate to all the properties of the vehcicles. It will be about the capabilities of weapon systems, ie 30 mm automatic cannon, coaxial machine gun caliber 7.62 mm, guided anti-tank missiles, as well as the characteristics of the gunner’s and commander’s sights and sensor, communication and information systems, ballistic protection, vehicle mobility, required engine power and minimum road and off-road speed, terrain passability and total weight (vehicles should be transportable by heavy transport aircraft).

The tests are to be performed by suppliers, the Ministry of Defense, the Army of the Czech Republic, as well as state enterprises established or managed by the Ministry of Defense, ie the Military Technical Institute (VTÚ), the Military Research Institute (VVÚ) and VOP CZ (the so-called contract integrator for Czech defense companies), and involve 100-200 people. Thus, they have been postponed four times with reference to government measures against the spread of coronavirus. However, even these delays are not the real reason for the tense course of the tender.

See also: Minister of Defense admitted for the first time that the IFV acquisition may not be achieved before elections. Minister of Industry is asking for a larger share for Czech companies

In March, MoD presented its schedule for finalization of the contract to the members of the House Committee on Defense. We are now at the end of April, and the call for final bids has not yet been sent to bidders, partly because the government must deal with the comments of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which calls for greater involvement of Czech companies in the contract, ideally directly for vehicle production in the Czech Republic. It is therefore quite certain that in the fastest possible course, Lubomír Metnar will sign the contract as a resigned Minister of Defense after the elections, and more probably the contract will land on the table of the future new minister, who will have to thoroughly acquaint himself with the terms of the contract before signing. This will mean further delays.

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