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Update: Czech Republic, Israel sign SPYDER air defence agreement

Israel and the Czech Republic signed a government-to-government agreement covering the delivery of four Rafael SPYDER air-defence systems on 5 October.

The agreement was signed in Prague by Czech Deputy Minister for Armaments and Acquisitions Lubor Koudelka and Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) Director Major General (res) Amir Eshel.

“This is the first time that Israel will deliver a full air-defence system to a NATO country, and we are proud and thrilled that the Czech Republic is the one,” Eshel said.

[Czech] Army experts chose SPYDER as the most suitable in the assessment of nine ground air defence systems,” Czech Minister of Defense Lubomír Metnar said.

While the Israeli MoD put the value of the agreement at about USD520 million, the Czech MoD said it would pay CZK13.7 billion (USD624 million) after negotiating the cost down by CZK2 billion. It added that the Czech defence industry would carry out 38% of the work, naming its own Military Technical Institute and RETIA, which makes and modernises radars and command-and-control systems, as the main partners.

It added that the SPYDER will replace the four 2K12 Kub systems still used by the 25th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment based in Strakonice, and is expected to have a service life of 20 years at an expected cost of CZK23 billion, CZK7.5 billion of which will cover Israeli support.

This article, first published on 8 October 2021, has been updated with new information.

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