The Ministry of Defence has signed a contract for the supply of two CASA aircraft for nearly 2 billion crowns

The Ministry of Defence has signed a contract for the supply of two CASA aircraft for nearly 2 billion crowns
19 / 12 / 2019, 10:00

After the contracts for the acquisition of American helicopters and the MADR radars, the Ministry of Defence managed to sign a contract for the acquisition of two CASA aircraft by the end of the year. It will pay almost CZK 2 billion.

On Monday, 16th December, the Ministry of Defence signed a contract with the Spanish company Airbus Defense and Space for the purchase of two CASA aircraft, an acquisition that the ministry wanted to make by the end of the year. The purchase will cost almost CZK 1.94 billion without VAT.

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Subsequently, another contract for upgrading the existing 4 CASA aircraft was signed. Modernization will take place in 2019-2021 and aircraft will receive improved avionic, communication or navigation systems. This modernization will cost CZK 360 million without VAT.

Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar said two more CASAs are needed to increase transport capacity, due also to the fact that the outdated Yak-40s will shortly be out of service.

According to Metnar, the acquisition of airplanes is also advantageous in that the price is about CZK 0.5 billion cheaper. Filip Říha, Deputy Minister of Defence for Armaments and Acquisitions, said that the price could be lowered through faster negotiations. “Thanks to accelerated acquisition and negotiated terms, we are getting aircraft with savings of approximately half a billion crowns compared to current prices. Moreover, if we delayed the acquisition, we would get the first new planes in 2023 at the earliest,” Říha said.

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The purchase of CASA airplanes was approved in 2009 by Mirek Topolánek's government, who was at the time resigning because the government has lost the Chamber of Deputies‘ vote of confindence. However, the purchase of airplanes was accompanied by many doubts and in 2010 the European Commission sued the Czech Republic at the Court of Justice of the European Union that the acquisition of the airplanes took place without a tender. The proceedings have been closed by the European Commission as a result of the Czech Republic's assurance that it will limit the application of exceptions from procurement procedures relating to military purchases to exceptional cases where this is necessary to protect the essential security interests of the state.

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