Czech Republic joins multinational transport aircraft fleet |

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Czech Republic joins multinational transport aircraft fleet

Czech Republic joins multinational transport aircraft fleet

The Czech Republic today became the sixth country to join the multinational transport aircraft fleet initiated by the western states, Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar (for ANO) said after confirming the Czech participation at a meeting with his NATO counterparts yesterday.

The project gives the Czech military's better access to strategic air transfers, in-flight refuelling and the transport of injured people.

The multinational fleet of multipurpose tank and transport aircraft has been jointly established by the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Norway. The fleet will have eight Airbus A-330 airplanes based in the Netherlands and Germany.

"The Czech Republic today became the sixth participant country in the Multinational multipurpose fuelling and transport aircraft fleet. We signed the document together with my counterparts during the NATO ministers' meeting in Brussels," Metnar tweeted.

The Czech cabinet approved the Czech accession to the project in mid-October. The Defence Ministry then said it will pay 594 million crowns to join the programme and then annually 32.6 million for its operation and 10 million for personnel. The country is to spend about 1.87 billion crowns in the next 30 years on the Czech participation in the project.

The participant countries are to financially contribute to the project depending on the number of flight hours demanded.

Thanks to its joining the fleet programme, the Czech Republic will not have to depend on the capacities of its allies in NATO, which are not always available on dates when the Czech military needs to use then, or on commercial entities, which are not always completely reliable, the ministry said earlier.

($1=23.051 crowns)

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