Czech military material worth over 40 billion crowns was exported to Ukraine this year
The Industrial Cooperation Section of the Czech Ministry of Defence, headed by its deputy Tomáš Kopečný, is an important department of the Ministry, with the aim of developing the domestic defence industry in order to increase its own defence capability in the event of a crisis, promoting exports and Czech interests on foreign markets, as well as deepening partnerships through the cooperation of defence industries.
Video: Czech military material worth over 40 billion crowns was exported to Ukraine this year / CZ DEFENCE
On 15 March 2021, after two years of preparation, the Ministry of Defence launched the AMOS (Agency for Intergovernmental Defence Cooperation) project to support the export of the Czech arms industry, where the Ministry was inspired by similar institutions, particularly in France, Sweden and Israel. The Agency is thus looking for opportunities for possible cooperation between Czech arms companies and foreign customers, e.g. in the framework of strategic acquisitions of military equipment, where the Ministry of Defence requires significant involvement of the domestic industry, such as in the case of the acquisition of new American UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper helicopters, the Israeli SPYDER anti-aircraft system or MADR radars, 155mm CAESAR self-propelled guns and other projects.
During the period of operation of the Industrial Cooperation Section of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic (since the beginning of 2020), databases of arms companies have been created and procedures for negotiations with foreign partners have been set up. Today, the representatives of this section already know what each manufacturer offers, and the section can thus actively assist in the export of Czech military equipment abroad. After all, this segment of the industry is based on foreign exports of our armourers. The visibility of the Czech defence industry was also raised through the "We know what we have" project, which was launched in November 2020 by the Deputy of the Industrial Cooperation Section of the Ministry of Defence, Tomáš Kopečný. Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, coordination and organisation of military and material assistance to Ukraine has also been an important part of the work of the Industrial Cooperation Section of the MoD.
In the next episode of our discussion programme CZ DIALOGY, where we invited Deputy Minister Tomáš Kopečný, we focused not only on support for the Czech defence industry, but also on tenders, tendering procedures, government-to-government negotiations and other topics.
Picture: In the next episode of our discussion show CZ DIALOGY, we invited the Deputy of the Industrial Cooperation Section of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic Tomáš Kopečný | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE
For example, in the course of an interesting debate it was mentioned that the negotiations for the acquisition of 24 F-35 fighter jets between our and the US government are taking place on absolutely equal terms based on the collective defence pact. "The negotiations from the side of the United States and the US government were full of respect and recognition of what the Czech Army is doing for the benefit of collective defence," Kopečný said. An eventual intergovernmental agreement on the acquisition of supersonic aircraft could then open up the possibility of faster acquisition. The US government will be the guarantor, which will buy the machines and sell them to the Czech Republic for the same price (this is also the model used by the Czech agency AMOS). Given the expected number of F-35s in Europe, Tomáš Kopečný sees the potential for industrial cooperation in the creation of training and repair centres.
We also had fun with the 2nd stage of the "We know what we have" campaign, which focuses on the role of Czech research institutions and companies in the field of emerging technologies in defence and security. In particular, these are the projects of the Czech Technical University in Prague, Brno University of Technology and Masaryk University in Brno. These are today's leaders in emerging technologies and, according to the Deputy Minister, it is also the Czech University of Agriculture, which at the recent Future Forces Forum event presented a new drone originally developed for agricultural purposes, which is capable of carrying mines instead of seeds.
The conversation could not avoid the topic of the war in Ukraine. According to Deputy Minister Kopečný, the Czech arms industry is sold out in many segments for more than 2 years in advance due to the aid to Ukraine and exports. "This conflict is also an opportunity for the Czech industry in general. A major reconstruction of Ukraine is being prepared. It is about repairing and building railways, hospitals or energy infrastructure. Connecting with the Western infrastructure will be one of the main tasks of the reconstruction, and here we need to see an opportunity for Czech entities," explains Tomáš Kopečný.