Tracked IFV Tender – public opinion survey: Czechs want modern, proven and resistant vehicle. The PUMA may be the best answer

Tracked IFV Tender – public opinion survey: Czechs want modern, proven and resistant vehicle. The PUMA may be the best answer
10 / 10 / 2019, 10:00

The results of a survey conducted by Phoenix research on-line, which deals with the public attitude to the largest military acquisition in the Czech Republic's independent history, i.e. the purchase of 210 tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles at estimated total price of CZK 53 billion, suggest that the Czech public is, not surprisingly, inclined to acquire state-of-the-art vehicles equipped with state-of-the-art technology and vehicles proven in past deployments. The CV90 is not of the latest design, while the LYNX has not been deployed yet. With focus on the protection level and thus the protection of lives of the crew and of the troopers, the PUMA may be the choice of the Czech citizens according to this survey.

The first question of the survey was somewhat strange: "What is your personal opinion on the suppliers of new infantry fighting vehicles? In your opinion, should this be an ally of the Czech Republic within NATO?" - All four candidates, namely BAE Systems (CV90), GDELS (ASCOD 2), Rheinmetall (LYNX) and PSM (PUMA), are companies from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization  member states. The truth is that the CV90 has Swedish roots, was developed by Hägglunds and Bofors, and is now being developed and manufactured by a British subsidiary of BAE Systems, BAE Systems Hägglunds AB.

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

42% people voted that the manufacturer needs to be from a NATO country, 33% disagreed. The question is, of course, whether the dissenters identified the origin of the CV90, or whether they rather aimed at a „solution“ proposed to the Czech Army by facebook experts, to buy the Russian BMP-3 for example.

Half of the respondents want the army to purchase a vehicle already tested in active service, which is already deployed with "some of the leading armies". For 26% this issue is not important. Three of the vehicles were already deployed: the CV90 (in four NATO armies - Danish, Estonian, Dutch and Norwegian), the ASCOD (in different versions in Austria, Britain, Spain) and the PUMA (in Germany). So far no army has deployed the LYNX IFV, which has so far "only" succeeded in the next round of the Australian Land 400 Phase 3 tender, and is also beinng offered to the United States (but was disqualified recently from the OMFV program due to failure to deliver a fully working bid sample before 1st October).

See also: 16 Uncrossable Requirements for the new Czech Tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles

Furthermore, the Agency questioned the importance of "modern vehicle design". Comparing the four vehicles offered according to their "age", the oldest concept is the CV90 designed in the second half of the 1980s, in service since 1993, more than a quarter of a century, while it has undergone and is undergoing major upgrades. ASCOD is a bit younger, although its roots date back to the 1980s too. These vehicles are commissioned since 2002. The first two serial PUMA vehicles were produced in 2010, and the vehicle has been in service within the Bundeswehr since 2015. And the latest is the LYNX, which was first introduced to the public in 2016. The modern design is important for 43% of respondents.

And 65% want the military to buy a vehicle with "the best technology", guaranteeing greater crew safety, even at the cost of higher purchase price. In this case, most experts agree that the PUMA vehicle from PSM leads with its level of protection above level 6, and answers the best this specific request in which a clear majority of respondents said yes.

See also: Interview - General Vollmer explains the advantages of PUMA IFV

According to the results of this public survey, the CV90 and the LYNX are more likely to be unsatisfactory for the Czech public, one being „old“ , the other provides no service experience. The stance towards the ASCOD may be more favourable, and the best choice might be the PUMA, especially thanks to its level of protection.

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