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Czech Republic to buy Heron UAVs from Israel

The Czech Republic is looking to buy three Heron 1 UAVs from Israel, with the deal expected to be concluded by the end of 2022. (IAI)

The Czech Republic is to buy three Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as part of the country's wider Concept of Capability Construction of the Army of the Czech Republic plan.

The Czech Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the plan on 8 August, saying that negotiations for the procurement are to begin with the Israeli government shortly as it plans to acquire equipment seen “as crucial in conducting aerial reconnaissance and performing other tasks for direct combat support and protection of Czech army units”.

As noted by the MoD, the decision to procure the Heron 1 follows preliminary market consultations in recent months that have determined it to be the best at meeting the military's needs. “The selected device most closely corresponds to the expected use within the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR), and meets the future requirements for full use both in the Czech Republic as part of training and for possible use within the support of units in foreign operations,” Colonel Pavel Nakládl, who evaluated this requirement for the ACR, was quoted as saying.

The Czech Minister of Defence, Jana Černochová, said a contract is expected to be finalised later in 2022.

The Heron 1 has been in service with a number of international operators, including Australia, France, Germany, India, Israel, and Singapore.

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