Czech Prime Minister: "We do not need the IFV's immediately." MoD must come up with an effective solution

Czech Prime Minister: &quote;We do not need the IFV's immediately.&quote; MoD must come up with an effective solution
19 / 03 / 2020, 10:00

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced at the press conference that Czech military acquisitions are under threat by austerity measures due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For the Army, such a message is certainly extremely unpleasant, but at the same time expected. The Prime Minister explicitly mentioned the acquisition of tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles, which according to the original plan are to cost more than 50 billion Czech crowns.

The Ministry of Defence's priorities for this year include Infantry Fighting Vehicles as a replacement for the existing BMP-2’s, a modern artillery fire control system, a 155 mm NATO self-propelled gun, replacing the 152 mm DANA self-propelled howitzer, and SHORAD systes to replace the existing ex-soviet 2K12 KUB’s.

See also: Modernization Projects of the Czech Army

"Maybe the army can wait with some of the things, because today we probably do not need the IFV’s, but we need other things for this war," Andrej Babiš said at a press conference on Tuesday evening. By „war“ he means the current actions against the spread and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The same term was also used by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Apparently, Infantry Fighting Vehicles are not needed „today“, but when we need them, we will not get them as „easily“ as masks and respirators. It is certain that the state budget will need a change, as the Prime Minister said, in many chapters, including of course the Defence. Than the more important is that the Army and the Ministry of Defence came up very soon with an acceptable solution based on very strong arguments, and therefore to adjust their priorities for this year and define which assets can not be (even temporarily) postponed.

Prime Minister Babiš's opinion was promptly commented on Facebook by the chairwoman of the Chamber of Deputies Defence Committee, Jana Černochová, who reminded the limitation of the number of supersonic fighter jets after the floods in 2002:

"The purchase of a meaningful number of supersonic aircraft was washed away in 2002. We know it was a mistake, the state of our size must have more fighters. Today, according to Prime Minister Babiš, buying new and needed Infantry Fighting Vehicles may fall victim to coronavirus. Let’s not make the same mistake for a second time, the Army needs these vehicles to protect the citizens of our country.“

See also: Martin Lank: for the IFVs, MBTs and fighter jets acquisition I would choose G2G

The worst thing for the military would be if the acquisitions were to continue at the pace and in the way we have witnessed in recent years: a lot of delays, changes, ambiguities. The way out of the difficult situation can be offered by the form of government-government (G2G) purchases, an intergovernmental agreement where the Czech government will be able to define offsets and share of the Czech defence industry and for which there will be good reason based on the austerity measures (which was not the case when the H-1 helicopters were purchased). In the coming difficult time, support for the Czech defence industry will be important, and the necessary military acquisitions could become a suitable recovery tool - provided they are prepared and executed transparently, without delays and doubts.

Tags of article

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