We need a new concept for the development of the Army, opposition MP says

We need a new concept for the development of the Army, opposition MP says
06 / 04 / 2020, 10:00

We asked MP Karel Krejza (ODS, opposition party) about his opinions on the current situation marked by the coronavirus epidemic. According to Krejza, was the Czech Republic ready for the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic? How should we prepare for the next crises? Karel Krejza is member of the Defence Committee of the Lower House.

  • The Czech Republic is undergoing a thorough test due to the coronavirus epidemic. Were we prepared for this? How do we manage the current tense situation as a nation?

First of all I want to thank the doctors, nurses, rescuers and firemen - they are doing a great job. They are heroes in the front line. But ordinary people are also involved – they help with masks, buy vouchers from self-employed, all this is extremely important. But it should be remembered that these professions include a certain degree of risk to which we have become less accustomed to during the years of relative peace. Back to the question… I think we weren't ready, at least mentally. Our well-being has caught up with us, many thought that nothing could happen. We must learn lessons and prepare more closely for future crises.

See also: Major Czech defence industry companies adhere to Government emergency regulations and continue to produce

  • So how do you think we should prepare for the next crises?

Critical infrastructure needs to be developed, ie to have key factories in our territory that can deliver masks, respirators, lung ventilators, disinfectants, nanomaterials, etc. Perhaps in 50 years there will be a virus that will cause kidney failure and we will need dialysis. The future of the state's survival will depend on universality. Ie, how quickly it can switch to the production of life-saving products. As we have seen, the epidemic can come to us not in weeks but in days. A strategic inventory system must undergo a thorough review. I can also imagine that there will be a crisis economic plan - what to forgive in paying, mortgages, self-employed, who are the people to be sent to work, who is to stay immediately at home, etc. All this had to be done day by day. It is not in vain to say be ready, not surprised.

  • There was a great debate about the lack of masks and respirators and our dependence on imports from China. Is it necessary to learn from this that, especially in times of crisis, we need to rely more on ourselves?

It is not possible to cut off from the outside world, but it is necessary to count on the fact that in times of crisis things work completely differently. We cannot be totally dependent on a factory which works on the other side of the world. We must have key things in our territory. If I transfer this to the military, we must be able to operate as independently as possible in the event of a security crisis - for example, in terms of repair and service. Perhaps it would also benefit from higher transport capacity, or at least longer range of aircraft.

See also: Modernization of Land Forces after coronavirus: Reduction of the IFV project, wheeled vehicles and new tanks. How to deal with budget cuts?

  • On the matter of the home defense industry: what would that mean? Making everything at home?

It is not possible, the state of our size will always have to buy technology abroad. But we must ensure maximum self-sufficiency. A good example is the condition that all the chassis we buy are from Tatra. This ensures that we can always keep them up and running. In this spirit, we must give the greatest possible participation of Czech industry to foreign purchases. But we must not just supply components. Know-how must also be transferred. We have to be able to assemble, repair and service it. Cooperation with private companies is important. For them, we must firmly agree that such knowledge, skills and capacities will be permanently held for the Czech Army in case of crisis.

  • Talking about the military sector. The topic of military purchases cannot be omitted. Prime Minister Babis has already called for savings. Namely, he said that we do not need to buy new IFVs. What do you think about it?

We must not sacrifice the Army in any way. However, we cannot be blind and do nothing. The economic impact will certainly be considerable. The new situation requires rationalization of defense spending. The IFV purchase project was conceived for good times and is quite megalomaniacal. We need to set the purchase to get at least something. I can imagine that, for example, the number of purchased pieces will decrease. For example, it is possible to save the accompanying vehicles not on the tracked chassis but on the wheels.

  • Won't your colleagues in the Defence Committee stone you for such statements?

We must respond to the new situation. The fall in GDP is obvious. We have to rephrase what we can afford to arm as soon as possible. In the next six years, we are to re-equip heavy ground units with IFVs and MBTs. We also nee a fire control system and artillery. We cannot do this by buying generously just the IFVs and then we would no longer have money for the other needs.

See also: The Army should definitely not fall victim to this crisis – Jana Černochová, Chairwoman of the Defence Committee, says

It will be necessary to reconsider carefully what we will buy. Somewhere you need to reduce the numbers, somewhere you can go cheaper. I assume that it will be necessary to create a new concept of armaments of the Army. The ministry will no longer be able to afford to buy without transparency as in the case of the passive surveillance system, which has done great damage to public confidence. For many orders, the Ministry must consider whether there is a risk of cost increases, which could happen in the modernization of the old Soviet T-72 tanks.

Tags of article

This website uses to provide services, personalize ads, and analyzing visitor cookies. By using this site you agree.More information