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Israel Aerospace Industries' (IAI) Elta Systems has won a contract valued at U$100 million to supply eight ELM 2084 radars as part of an upgrade programme for Czechia's air defences. Beating other down-selected contenders from Saab and Thales, the company is to deliver all eight radars to Prague by 2021.

Intended to replace the target acquisition radars associated with the Russian-built SA-6 GAINFUL (2K12 KUB CZ) air defence missiles, in service since 1991, the Elta radar has already seen service supporting Israel’s IRON DOME and DAVID’s SLING systems. Based on the latest agile electronic scanned array (AESA) technology, the 3D mobile air defence radar (3D MADR) provides greater area coverage, handles more targets simultaneously, and had greater resistance to electronic attack, thus improving air defence system performance.

Czechia is also considering the acquisition of more modern missiles as part of the air defence upgrade programme. The service life of the SA-6 GAINFULs is approaching its end and they will ideally be retired by 2020. An initial proposal to replace the VYMPEL 3M9M3 interceptors with the MBDA ASPIDE 2000 and a fire control system from Czech company Retia was not eventually pursued. Raytheon, MBDA, and IAI are among the current contenders for a new air defence missile for the Czech Army.

The Czechia Army’s current SA-6 GAINFUL air defence system is ageing, having been in service since 1991, and is approaching an out-of-service date of 2020. (Photo: Czechian MoD)

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