Jana Černochová was sworn in at the Ministry of Defence. She wants to meet the allied commitment of 2% of GDP for defence and continue the modernisation of the Army

Jana Černochová was sworn in at the Ministry of Defence. She wants to meet the allied commitment of 2% of GDP for defence and continue the modernisation of the Army
Author: army.cz|Caption: Prime Minister Fiala and Defense Minister Černochová
21 / 12 / 2021, 10:00

A symbolic changing of the guard also took place at the Ministry of Defence, where Prime Minister Petr Fiala inducted the new head of the ministry, Jana Černochová (ODS). After her earlier meeting with President Miloš Zeman, Černochová said that she would give up her post as mayor of Prague 2 and will devote herself fully to the ministry entrusted to her.

As she mentioned at the press briefing, her priorities include, first of all, the gradual fulfilment of the allied commitment of 2% of GDP for defence by 2025, despite the fact that this will not be easy, according to her, given the tight state budget.

The former chairwoman of the Defence Committee wants to continue further modernisation of the Army, but she also mentioned the obstacles that are being placed in the way of this process. Černochová mentioned the law on public procurement, which is currently placing major obstacles in the way of the modernisation of the Army, and she will try to amend the law so that this will no longer be the case in the future.

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

Related to this is her support for the "government-to-government" method of purchasing military equipment, as she mentioned earlier in her meeting with President Zeman in Lány, because this would speed up the acquisition of new modern equipment. Černochová said that the new government should adopt the necessary legislation for this.

In her position, Černochová intends to support domestic industry, Czech exports and wants to deepen transatlantic ties because the Czech Republic is a strong ally of the North Atlantic Alliance, she added. She will also seek to expand cooperation with the Active Reserves, promote new technologies and improve the training of new recruits.

As for the Army's priorities, the defence minister said it was time to develop the debate on current procurement. She spoke, for example, about issues of how to further protect Czech airspace, as the contract for the lease of Gripen aircraft expires in 2027. When asked what will happen next with the contract for the purchase of 210 new Infantry Fighting Vehicles worth CZK 52 billion, Černochová replied that she had to get acquainted with all the necessary documentation and then the appropriate steps would be taken.

See also: Acquisition of the IFVs needs a rational reduction and change of format - the tender steps on the spot and blocks funds for important projects

As the security environment is changing quite dramatically, Černochová will want to discuss with Chief of General Staff Aleě Opata strategic concepts and their possible modification to adequately reflect reality.

At the press briefing, the new defence minister mentioned that she will want to work with her predecessor Lubomír Metnar, who is to become the new chairman of the Defence Committee. Their roles will thus be reversed, as Černochová headed the Defence Committee during her last term in office, while Metnar held the post of defence minister.

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