V4 countries may jointly purchase ammunition - Czech minister | info.cz

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V4 countries may jointly purchase ammunition - Czech minister

V4 countries may jointly purchase ammunition - Czech minister

Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia might buy ammunition for their militaries together, Czech Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar said after a Visegrad Group (V4) meeting with his three counterparts yesterday. He said closer cooperation in armament is one of the priorities which the Czech Republic set for its V4 presidency that began this summer.

"We have not achieved significant results so far. A large number of plans arose but there was no final implementation. We want to reduce the extreme ambitions and be realistic. In the short-term horizon, a springboard could be a joint purchase of ammunition," Metnar said.

National armament directors have been tasked to define the concrete type of ammunition and other details, he said.

In the long-term horizon, some ambitious projects could follow. "We today agreed on several spheres in which we see a big potential," Metnar said, mentioning common training of subsonic aircraft, purchase of handguns and modernisation of the T-72 tanks.

Hungarian Defence Minister Tibor Benko said Hungary launched an extensive programme of fighting capabilities development and signed a purchase contract for 39 new helicopters, for which it will need about 150 new pilots. "We must find possibilities for joint training," he said. Benko said a joint purchase of a training aircraft was considered.

Metnar said the new L-39NG made by the Czech firm Aero Vodochody was one of the aircraft that might be used in the training of pilots of supersonic airplanes.

"Our cooperation works very well. We have common interests in the defence sphere. We all realise that a joint stance strengthens the position of our countries in the European Union and NATO," Metnar said.

He said the Czech V4 presidency wants to continue cooperating with Germany and France, which started under the presidency of Slovakia.

Slovak Defence Minister Peter Gajdos said he was glad the Slovak priorities in V4 were not abandoned. "Under our presidency the cooperation was extended with a meeting with Germany and France and now a new proposal to also involve the United Kingdom is on the table," he said. Gajdos said this cooperation in fact did not depend on how Britain was going to leave the EU.

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