10:54 17 Feb 2023

Czech Republic to produce air defense systems for Ukraine

Air defense systems for Ukraine will be produced in the Czech Republic, says the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Czech Republic, Daniel Blažkovec.

Radio Prague International reports that the Netherlands will pay for assembling hundreds of specially modified Toyota all-terrain vehicles equipped with two rapid-fire machine guns capable of hitting drones, among others.

Czech companies will also buy the necessary ammunition, said the Intergovernmental Cooperation Agency director, Aleš Vytečka. The Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic acts as an intermediary during the implementation of this project.

This project has the same principle as the modernization of 90 T-72 tanks, which is already underway. A Czech company does the necessary work, and the USA and the Netherlands jointly pay for the order.

The project is a response to russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure and Ukraine's efforts to protect the civilian population and energy. Although Western nations gave Ukraine sophisticated air defense systems, their missiles are significantly more expensive when engaged, for instance, against cheap Iranian Shahed drones.

Hence, the Czech Republic proposed that the Netherlands participate in the SUV production project after discussing it with Ukraine and the Czech defense sector. With readily available and affordable rounds, these vehicles' rapid-fire machine guns can stop drones in their tracks.

Earlier, Czech PM Petr Fiala advocated strengthening the russian federation's diplomatic isolation and expanding sanctions against russia for its aggression against Ukraine.

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