The Czech Defence Ministry will sign a long-prepared contract on the purchase of eight MADR 3D mobile radars from Israel worth 3.5 billion crowns on December 5, ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek has told CTK.
An independent expert opinion has approved the price, Deputy Defence Minister for Armament Filip Riha said. The new radars will replace the outdated Russian ones whose lifespan has expired.
"The purchase of the MADR radars is one of our key upgrading projects. I am glad we are approaching a successful end of a long road," Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar (for ANO) said. The radars will be supplied continuously until 2023.
Representatives of the Czech Defence Ministry and the Israeli government agency for armament will sign the contract, Pejsek said. The last formal steps are being taken, after which contract is prepared for signing, he added.
The Israeli side will pledge in the contract that the Czech industry will participate in the procurement at least in 30 percent. The new radars will enable the military to keep a survey of the situation at the altitudes from 100 to 3000 metres.
The radars will be supplied by the Elta Systems Israeli state enterprise, producing the Iron Dome system. It is able not only to detect a missile attack, but also to assess what the missile will hit and shoot it down in the case of a threatening attack on a populated area. Elta offered the Multi-Mission-Radar ELM 2084, which is part of this system, to the Czech military.
The acquisition of radars was accompanied by problems and their purchase was delayed by a few years. The Czech military has warned that the lifespan of the currently used radars expired long time ago and they are on the verge of inoperability.
Former defence minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO), the current ambassador to Israel, said before he left the post that the contract was prepared for signing.
His successor Karla Slechtova (for ANO) said last year that the Defence Ministry's inspection had found out serious shortcomings in the so far incomplete tenders, and this was why she turned to the military police. The purchase of radars was among the suspicious contracts.
Last year, Metnar scrapped the tender for radars due to doubts and he proposed that the Czech defence buy the radars directly from the Israeli government. The military police shelved the suspicion in June.