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September 25, 2020 10:12 am

Czechs Plan to Buy Air Defense From Israel’s Rafael

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

A worker installs two Rafael Air Missile Defense models, before the opening of the 53rd Paris Air Show. at Le Bourget Airport, near Paris, France, June 14, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Pascal Rossignol.

The Czech Defense Ministry will start talks with the Israeli government to buy a short and medium range air defense system made by Israeli state-owned supplier Rafael, the ministry said on Friday.

The government has been raising defense spending to modernize its armed forces, but has admitted it would fall short of its pledge, as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, to spend 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense by 2024.

The ministry said it expected a government-to-government contract to be signed in early 2021 and supplies from 2023 and had picked Rafael’s SPYDER Short Range Air Defense/Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (SHORAD/MRSAM) from nine systems offered by seven producers.

It plans to spend 10 billion crowns ($430 million) on four batteries, each including its own radar, command and control unit.

The SPYDER will replace an over 40-year-old Soviet-made 2K12 KUB air defense system.

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