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Czech Republic opts for small UAVs over MALE systems

The Czech Republic signed a contract in August 2022 for three Heron 1 MALE UAVs. (Israel Aerospace Industries)

The Czech Republic has scrapped its decision to acquire medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in favour of smaller systems.

According to an Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) announcement on 22 May, the force will acquire 200 small UAVs rather than three MALE systems following assessments of Russia's electronic warfare (EW) capabilities and the deployment of these platforms in Ukraine.

ACR combat and reconnaissance units are expected to receive the UAVs, with the aim that these measures will increase the capabilities of the country's brigade task forces, the announcement said.

The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) had not responded to Janes request for comment at the time of publication.

In August 2022 the Czech Republic announced it would purchase three Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron 1 UAVs as part of the country's wider Concept of Capability Construction of the ACR plan. A contract was expected towards the end of 2022.

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