The Czech government greenlighted a plan on Wednesday to buy 246 Swedish-made infantry fighting vehicles for the Czech army, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Wednesday.
The Czech government also decided to start talks with Germany on a joint purchase of Leopard 2 A8 tanks. The Czech side wants to join the tender launched by Germany’s defense ministry.
The contract for 246 CV90 tracked vehicles is worth CZK 59.7 billion, or more than EUR 2.5 billion. At a press conference after the cabinet meeting, Czech Defense Minister Jana Chernochova said the purchase would be carried out in accordance with an intergovernmental agreement with Sweden. The agreement was signed on Wednesday.
The Czech army originally intended to purchase only 210 new infantry fighting vehicles, but due to rising armaments production prices, the ministry decided to seize the opportunity and buy an additional 36 vehicles. The contract makes for the largest purchase of military equipment in the Czech Republic.
The tender also includes delivery of 29 technical vehicles and spare parts. Under the contract, Sweden has guaranteed that the participation of Czech companies in the production will reach at least 40 percent of the contract value. Some 30 Czech companies have already signed the relevant contracts with the main manufacturer.
Leopards on the horizon
The Czech government delegated its defense ministry on Wednesday to negotiate with Germany on the possibility of joining the tender for the purchase of modern Leopard 2 A8 tanks. Prague expects that participation in a joint tender with Berlin will allow it to significantly reduce the price while shortening delivery times and providing adequate logistical support. The Czech Republic wants to buy about 70 tanks, which should be on armament by the end of this decade.
The Czech army is currently using upgraded T-72M4CZ tanks. Dozens of older T-72s have been handed over by the Czech Republic to Ukraine. In exchange for this aid, Germany is supplying the Czech side with 14 Leopard 2 A4 tanks and a Bpz3 Buffel technical security vehicle. Three vehicles are already in the Czech Republic.