Czech Defence News of the Week (11th – 18th October 2019)

Czech Defence News of the Week (11th – 18th October 2019)
Author: Marie Křížová, Andrej Halada, army.cz|Caption: 100th anniversary of the General Staff
21 / 10 / 2019, 09:30

Radovan Putna appointed director of the state-owned enterprise VOP CZ, the integrator for the Czech defence industry participating in the tracked IVF acquisition project. - German company PSM, the manufacturer of the PUMA IFV, has withdrawn from the tender. - The 100th anniversary of the General Staff of the Czech Army celebrated in Prague. - In the training area of the Hungarian Army Újmajor, during the Cooperative Security exercise, armies of the six states of Central European Defence Cooperation focused on managing a migration crisis at the state border. - German company Rheinmetall announced that it intends to manufacture a technologically advanced turret system in the Czech Republic.

  • On 15th October Minister of Defence Lubomir Metnar appointed Radovan Putna new director of the state-owned enterprise VOP CZ. He will thus replace Mark Špoka, removed from his office in April. In spring Minister Metnar said that he was not satisfied with the functioning of the company management and neither with its internal and external communication. VOP CZ, a major state-owned enterprise, reported a loss of 59 million in 2017 and an even worse result in 2018. With new leadership, there is hope for better management, results and communication. The founder and owner of this state enterprise is the Ministry of Defence. It plays an important role in the orders of the Ministry of Defence and currently in particular in the ongoing tender for new tracked Infantry Combat Vehicles: it will be the integrator for the Czech defence industry participating in the project.

See also: VOP CZ - military equipment engineering, repairs, production and development

  • German company PSM, the manufacturer of the PUMA IFV, has withdrawn from the tender for the new tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle to replace the outdated BMP-2 of the Czech Army. The reasons are the problematic requirements of the Ministry of Defence and the Army of the Czech Republic, which unveiled its new requirements in March, especially the requirement of the manned turret – PUMA only comes with unmanned turret. After considering all the terms and conditions of the competition, PSM decided to withdraw from the tender and not to submit a binding bid.

See also: Czech IFV tender: PUMA withdrawn from the competition. Another blow for the criticized tender

  • On 15th October, the President of the Republic Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš celebrated the 100th anniversary of the General Staff of the Czech Army together with the supreme Army command. All-day celebrations were opened by the meeting of the Chief of the General Staff of Army General Aleš Opata with his predecessors and granddaughter of the First Chief of General Staff of the Czechoslovak Army General Maurice Pellé, Mrs. Isabelle Monzini. An exceptional meeting of seven generals ended with a joint photograph and signature in the chronicle. Minister of Defence Lubomir Metnar wished the General Staff to maintain its high qualities for the future, because there can be no good army without a good command, he said. “Czech generals and other officers now occupy prestigious positions in the North Atlantic Alliance, including the highest ones. As a result, we have a proud army that enjoys high confidence among citizens and allies. ”
  • In the training area of ​​the Hungarian Army Újmajor near Veszprém, during the Cooperative Security exercise, armies of the six states of Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC; Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Poland as observer), including the Army of the Czech Republic, focused on managing a migration crisis at the state border. A total of 458 people attended this year's second edition. The Czech Army joined the exercise with 38 members of the rescue company of the 153rd Engineer Battalion, whose task was to build a humanitarian base for 150 people, and eight soldiers from the 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion with a reconnaissance version of IVECO armored vehicle. Several Czech soldiers also represented illegal migrants in the dynamic demonstration.

See also: Current Structure of the Czech Army – Combat Forces – the 4th RDB (2019)

  • German company Rheinmetall announced that it intends to manufacture a technologically advanced turret system at its production plant in the Ústi nad Labem Region. Information is part of the tender for the supply of Infantry Fighting Vehicles (Rheinmetall is offering its LYNX IFV to the Czech Army). “Rheinmetall Defense is a convinced supporter of relocating production and subsequent maintenance to the customer's country. This approach is illustrated by the Boxer Vehicle Localization Program for the Australian Army, which helps to create a separate military vehicle industry in Australia based on their local production. We are already a significant employer in the Czech Republic and we are pleased to be able to use a large number of qualified and experienced engineers, mechanics and technicians in the Czech Republic if we succeed in the tender for supply of combat vehicles, ”Oliver Mittelsdorf, Senior Vice President of Rheinmetall Defense, said.

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