Modernization Projects of the Czech Army

Modernization Projects of the Czech Army
Author: 7th Army Training Command|Caption: Combined Resolve 2013
21 / 06 / 2018, 11:15

On Monday 18th June 2018 the Czech Army General Staff hosted a meeting of the Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Aleš Opata and other General Staff, ground and air forces officers with the media, entitled „We know what we want and what we need to ensure defence of our country,“ during which the Chief of General Staff presented the actual aims and priorities of development and modernization of the Czech Army.

The top priority, as announced by the general Opata, would be the projects of immediate impact, including ballistic protection means, tactical equipment and night vision devices for the troops. These should be concluded before 2020, and the army should see shortage in this domain no more.

Besides these projects the army will focus on development of forces, modernization and acquisitions, command and control system and personnel recruitment. Formation of three concrete units has been mentioned: an airborne regiment (currently the Czech Army has the 43rd Airborne Battalion within the 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade), cybernetic forces and information operations headquarters, and Host Nation Support (HNS) battalion („to provide effective support to NATO military activities and to achieve efficiencies and economies of scale through the best use of a host nation’s available resources“). Another priority will be to complete the existing formations with able personnel and enlargement of the Active Reserves.

Concerning the modernization projects there are four major acquisitions considered essential by the Chief of General Staff:

  • purchase of 12 new multipurpose helicopters (fire support, armed escort, special operations, effectiveness against slow-speed and low-altitude air targets, search and rescue, CASEVAC, transport, tactical airborne insertions, cooperation with the Integrated Rescue System),
  • purchase of 8 MADR radars (minimum range of 250 km, built on TATRA chassis),
  • purchase of 210 Infantry Fighting Vehicles in 7 specified variants (combat, command, reconnaissance, engineer, medevac, artillery reconnaissance and recovery) to replace the BVP-2 (BMP-2);
  • and 52 self-propelled heavy guns of the NATO-standard 155 mm caliber built on TATRA wheeled chassis.

See also: New Infantry Fighting Vehicles for the Czech Army

And there are other particular or smaller acquisition or modernization projects that will be carried out:

  • purchase of 80 light armoured vehicles (CBRN – Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear defense);
  • upgrades for the currently operated 107 wheeled IFVs Pandur II;
  • purchase of 62 self-propelled mortars to replace the ShM 85 and 120 mm M1982 mortars;
  • modernization of the JAS-39 Gripen jets;
  • purchase of 4 anti-aircraft missile batteries (SHORAD – Short Range Air Defence) to replace the aging 2K12 Kub systems;
  • modernization of the T-72M4CZ Main Battle Tanks in three variants (combat, command, recovery) to extend their service life by 15 years;
  • 12 truck launched bridges;
  • a pontoon bridge kit;
  • modernization of the currently operated CASA C-295M transport aircraft and purchase of 2 new CASA C-295Ws;
  • 2 Deployable Passive EMS Trackers;
  • purchase of 39 wheeled command post vehicles and 61 wheeled communications vehicles;
  • purchase of at least 10 small Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) and a Tactical Unmanned Air System (TUAS);
  • and purchase of a new Airfield Radar System.

See also: The Czech Army Main Battle Tanks Question; The Czech Army military equipment overview 2018

According to the Chief of General Staff the army should invest in total more than CZK 100 billion (EUR 3.84 billion) before 2027.

pdf: Modernization Projects of the Czech Army (in Czech)

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