The Czech Republic has signed a deal to buy an Israeli anti-aircraft missile system in a deal worth an estimated $450 million, Israel's Foreign Ministry said yesterday.
Developed by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, SPYDER is a low to high-altitude surface-to-air missile system designed to protect against fighter aircraft, helicopters, other missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles.
According to the Times of Israel, the Czech Republic intends to purchase four SPYDER batteries.
Czech Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar said on Friday that the system will be a key component in modernising the Czech military. He added the military had analysed nine systems from seven producers before deciding on the Israeli one.
Jedním z klíčových modernizačních projektů naší armády je protiletadlový raketový systém. Je nejvyšší čas nahradit více než 40 let starý sovětský komplet 2K12 KUB. Vládu jsem dnes informoval, že chceme jednat s Izraelem o dodávkách moderního a prověřeného systému Spyder.
— Lubomír Metnar (@metnarl) September 25, 2020
"One of the key modernization projects of our army is the anti-aircraft missile system," he 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 Defence Ministry expects the deal to be worth almost $430 million and to be finalised early in 2021, with the delivery coming two years later.
"We thank the Czech government for their partnership and 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, and it is also great news for Israeli defense industries during such a complex period," Defence Minister Benny Gantz said of the agreement.