Battery Mix Reversed from Original Plan
IDET 2021 in Brno opened its doors just one day after the governments of Israel and the Czech Republic appended their signatures to the agreement for acquisition of the SPYDER short-range air defence (SHORAD) system. The deal is valued at some CZK13.7 billion (€548 million) and delivery is currently scheduled to occur between 2024-2026.
The Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) will receive a total of four batteries of the NATO-compatible and combat-proven Israeli weapons system, renowned for its autonomous concept, mobility, quick reaction and cyber resilience. Now, the exact composition of the deal has been unveiled at IDET by RETIA, a member of the Czechoslovak Group (CSG), that is partnering with Rafael to deliver this solution under an industrial partnership intended to ensure a 38% workshare of the contract for Czech companies.
While the original intention was to acquire three short-range (SR) and a single mid-range (MR) batteries, the new contract completely reverses these figures, due to changing military requirements. As a result, there will be three MR batteries using I-DERBY MR and PYTHON-5 MR missiles, and one SR unit armed with I-DERBY and PYTHON-5 missiles. This architecture will be supplemented by the requisite command and control (C2) units, 2084 radar and ammunition supply transport vehicles for each of the operational units. Local industrial participation will be ensured, among other measures, mainly by the selection of the TATRA T815 8×8 Series 7 chassis as the basis for all the platforms, including related logistics and sustainment. Among other companies directly involved in the programme is the state-owned VTU. In addition, Rafael will be providing operational and technical support for the first two years after the introduction of SPYDER into Czech service, including related know-how and technology transfer. The company also guarantees a minimum life cycle of 20 years for the system; related total costs are currently estimated at around CZK23 billion (€920 million).
Toms Chlebeck reporting from Brno for MON