The Czech government on 2nd December approved procurement of new radars and US-manufactured anti-tank missiles to bolster the country’s military capabilities on foreign missions.
The Czech Army’s 25th Air Defence Missile Regiment based in Strakonice will receive two new short-range surveillance radars worth €5.66m to complement its Saab Bofors RBS-70 man portable air defence missile systems.
The anti-tank missiles are the Javelin. These man-portable, fire-and-forget guided anti-tank missiles manufactured by a U.S. consortium of Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are to be procured for a total €10.27m through the U.S. Department of Defense’s Foreign Military Sales programme.
“The new systems will allow those elements of the Czech army involved in foreign operations to be better prepared for combat,” said Petr Medek, spokesperson for the Czech defence ministry.
The Javelin FGM-148 system, which can reach targets up to 4.75km distant and can be operated by just one soldier, has already been procured once before by the Czech defence ministry, in 2004. Three launchers and a dozen missiles were ordered for $1.7m to equip the Czech special forces but arrived too late for their mission in Afghanistan. Although no figures have been given by the Czech government, this new order should concern both more systems and for more squadrons.
Radars, missiles, armoured vehicles, the Czech Republic, like many of its neighbours, is taking strides to replace its Soviet-era military equipment. Prague has multiplied procurement announcements these past few months, including the purchase from Sweden’s Saab of new RBS-70NG ground-to-air missiles to replace its ex-Soviet Strela-10M systems.