The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 12 April plans to award a research and development contract in June to its subsidiary, the Military Technical Institute (VTU), to develop a light vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR).
The ACR currently operates several mini and light UAV platforms, including the hand-launched AeroVironment RQ-11 Raven and Wasp III, and the catapult-launched Boeing Insitu ScanEagle.
These were procured from 2009 for ACR forces serving in Afghanistan to provide beyond-line-of-sight tactical awareness and general reconnaissance missions.
Although the ACR is seeking to procure additional Wasp III and ScanEagle platforms for CZK 200 million (USD9.8 million) by 2020, sources close to the MoD said the ACR is also seeking a UAV platform with the long endurance of the ScanEagle, while also offering a VTOL launch-and-recovery mode to ease deployment in remote or restricted areas of operation.
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