WARSAW, Poland – The Czech Defense Ministry has signed an agreement to acquire the Spyder surface-to-air missile systems manufactured by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The contract is worth 13.69 billion crowns ($ 627 million), the ministry said in a statement.
Czech Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar said the purchase would allow Prague to replace its obsolete Soviet-designed 2K12 Kub surface-to-air systems with modern military technology.
“I appreciate the willingness of the Israeli government to share with us a state-of-the-art defense system that will advance our military to 21st century capabilities,” Metnar said, quoted in the statement. “Finally, we will get rid of our addiction to Soviet Kub [systems] 1970s that do not meet current airspace protection requirements.
Under the contract, the Czech defense industry will participate in the program, providing products and services worth more than 30 percent of its value.
The Czech armed forces are expected to operate the systems provided for at least 20 years. Combined with maintenance and repair costs, the acquisition will cost the country’s budget around 23 billion crowns, or $ 1 billion, according to the statement.
Deliveries of the four launchers are expected to be completed by 2026, the ministry said.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Polish correspondent for Defense News.