Israel, Czech Republic sign milestone air defense deal

For first time, Israel will deliver a full air defense system to a NATO country.


Israel and the Czech Republic signed a massive security deal worth NIS 2 billion ($520 million) in which the Czech Republic will be equipped with four Spyder air defense batteries made by Israel’s Rafael, including radar systems made by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Defense (ImoD), Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amir Eshel and Czech Deputy Minister for Armaments and Acquisition Lubor Koudelka signed on Tuesday a government-to-government (GTG) agreement in the Czech Republic to deliver four Rafael-produced air defense systems to the Czech Ministry of Defense.

This is the biggest agreement signed between the countries to date.

The Spyder is a mobile air defense system based on the Python and Derby air-to-air missiles and is designed to intercept a variety of airborne threats, including planes, helicopters and drones.

The systems will be integrated into the NATO country’s infrastructure and will defend Czech skies.

The agreement also includes a maintenance contract for the next two decades as well as local production.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz stated that the “important agreement further deepens the excellent defense relations between our countries. It is a strategic agreement with a NATO-member country, which will create job opportunities in both countries.”

“I am proud of Israel’s defense industries and their advanced technology which is requested by many of our partner countries,” he added.

Speaking at a press conference following the signing of the agreement, Eshel said the agreement “is yet another milestone in the strategic cooperation between our two countries.”

He further noted that this is the first time that Israel will deliver a full air defense system to a NATO country.