Czech Republic chooses Israeli anti-aircraft system to defend its skies

Czech Republic to get four batteries of the SPYDER system made by Rafael, the company that produces Iron Dome.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The Czech Ministry of Defense has decided to buy an Israeli-made anti-aircraft missile system in a deal worth an estimated $450 million, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

The purchase includes four batteries of the SPYDER anti-aircraft system that incorporates the PYTHON-5 missile and the I-DERBY active radar. The missile system is designed to knock out aircraft including helicopters and UAVs (drones). Each battery has its own 3D radar, fire command and control system, and four launchers.

The deal has an estimated value of 370 million Euros ($430 million) with contract negotiations expected to finish by the beginning of 2021, and the first deliveries coming in 2023.

“One of the key modernization projects of our army is the anti-aircraft missile system,” Czech Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar tweeted. ” It is high time to replace the more than 40-year-old Soviet 2K12 KUB system,” he wrote, adding that he wanted the “modern and proven SPYDER system.”

The Czech government approved procurement negotiations on Friday in the framework of a government-to-government (GTG) agreement between the two countries with Israel as the sole supplier for the project.

Read  Fearing arrest, Netanyahu nixes stopover in Europe

Rafael says SPYDER “provides effective protection of valuable assets, as well as first-class defense for maneuvering forces located in combat areas. ”

“We are very proud to have been selected to provide SPYDER systems to the Czech Republic,” said Rafael’s VP of marketing and business development, Ariel Karo. “The decision… is a significant vote of confidence in our proven air defense capabilities demonstrated over the years through a variety of solutions that span from Iron Dome, David’s Sling, and the SPYDER air defense system, in service and combat-proven in different countries around the world.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz thanked the Czech government for the decision to equip their military with Israeli air defense systems.

“This is another significant step in strengthening security relations between our two countries,” Gantz said. “It is also great news for Israeli defense industries during such a complex period.”