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Czechs and Balances

Czech government expresses concern regarding Israeli radars

On 16th January, the Czech government announced that it would launch a review of a proposed contract with Israel Aerospace Industries regarding the acquisition of eight of the firm’s EL/M-2084 S-band (2.3 gigahertz/GHz to 2.5GHz/2.7GHz to 3.7GHz) ground-based air surveillance radars. The Czech government had originally announced an intention to purchase these radars on 14th December 2016 although according to recent media reports, a contract for their acquisition remains unsigned.

Reports continued that the reasons for the launch of the review, as announced by the Defence Minister Karla Slechtova included questions regarding the scope of the contract, with an analysis of the contract being requested to this end from the Czech Foreign Ministry. Moreover, Ms. Slechtova added that additional analysis was required to determine the extent to which the EL/M-2084 system can interoperate with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) ground-based air defence architecture.

Although not referred to by Ms. Slechtova this may be an implicit reference to the ability of the radar to operate with NATO’s ThalesRaytheonSystem’s Air Command and Control System (ACCS) which is replacing a range of continental European national ground-based air defence command and control systems, with a scalable hardware and software architecture which can be used to perform a range of missions from safeguarding national air sovereignty to air campaign planning and execution, as well as providing a single, federated ‘super RAP’ (Recognised Air Picture) of European airspace.

The Vzdušné síly Armády České Republiky (Czech Republic Air Force) is scheduled to receive the ACCS architecture at Stara Boleslav airbase, home of the 26th Air Command, Control and Surveillance Regiment, in the north of the country over the next five years.

Thomas Withington

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