Jana Černochová's visit to Israel confirmed the high level of defence cooperation between the Czech Republic and Israel

 14. 02. 2024      category: Events
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Bilateral relations between the Czech Republic and Israel have long been at a high level. One of the key areas of cooperation between the two countries has been defence and security for some time. In recent years, the Czech Army has implemented several important modernisation projects in cooperation with Israel. This fact was also appreciated by Czech Defence Minister Jana Černochová, who recently visited the Jewish state. 

Foto: Ministryně obrany Jana Černochová s izraelským ministrem obrany Joavem Galantem | Jana Měrková
Picture: Minister of Defence Jana Černochová with Israeli Minister of Defence Yoav Galant | Jana Měrková

The Czech Republic was one of the first countries to publicly support Israel in its fight against terrorists from the radical Hamas movement. As the Defence Minister herself said during her trip to Israel, Israel is the Czech Republic's closest partner in the Middle East and, as it has been in the past, the Czech Republic is ready to offer Israel assistance. The above-standard relations between the two countries in the field of defence and security are also confirmed by the cooperation between the two armies in the field of training and education, as well as by several recent modernisation projects of the Czech Army. 

The Israeli defence industry is one of the most technologically advanced in the world, which is also confirmed in the current conflict with Hamas, where the Israeli army uses advanced and sophisticated systems to protect airspace or to monitor and gather intelligence. Over the past few years, the Czech Republic has been working with the State of Israel on several key modernisation projects - the acquisition of EL/M-2084 3D radars from ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Spyder air defence systems from Rafael and, more recently, the acquisition of long-range I-Derby air-to-air missiles.

Foto: Částečně rozvinutý radiolokátor MADR | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE
Picture: Partially developed EL/M-2084 3D radar in service of the Czech Armed Forces | Michal Pivoňka / CZ DEFENCE

It was the cooperation between the Czech defence industry and ELTA Systems that created the basic framework for the transfer of advanced Israeli technologies to the Czech Republic. The Czech defence industry was heavily involved in the project to acquire eight EL/M-2084 3D radars, which provided sophisticated and advanced know-how. Thanks to the shared know-how, Czech companies can now actively participate in the production of individual components for the radars, their servicing, repair and integration into the command and control system of the Czech Armed Forces. At the same time, the highly sophisticated know-how provided by ELTA Systems to Czech companies will significantly increase the Czech Republic's defence capability and independence in the field of radar technology and air defence. 

The acquisition of high-tech know-how in this type of radar is all the more important as the EL/M-2084 radars are also used by the Spyder air and missile defence systems, which the Czech Republic is scheduled to introduce into its arsenal by the end of 2026. Slovakia has also ordered the same radars as the Czech Republic, which will deepen cooperation within the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS).

Foto: Protivzdušný komplet SPYDER | Ministerstvo obrany ČR
Picture: Spyder anti-aircraft system | MoD of the Czech Republic

In addition to the already existing projects in the field of defence and security, Defence Minister Jana Černochová expressed her ambition to further deepen relations in this sphere. "In the area of defence-industrial cooperation, our aim is also to connect Czech and Israeli companies and to support the creation of joint projects," said the Defence Minister, adding that a more intensive connection of advanced Israeli technologies with the rich Czech tradition in the field of engineering and the strategic location of the Czech Republic in the heart of Europe can bring great benefits to both countries, not only in the field of defence industry. 

In addition to the very good bilateral defence relations between the Czech Republic and Israel, it is also necessary to mention the European dimension of defence cooperation with the Jewish state. For example, as part of the Europe-wide European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) project, Germany approved the purchase of the Arrow 3 long-range air defence system last autumn. This system, produced by the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, already protects the people of Israel and is expected to become one of the three layers of European air defence from 2025. Slovakia has also opted for a complete air defence system from the Israeli company IAI, and is currently negotiating the acquisition of the BARAK MX medium-range anti-aircraft system.

Foto: Izraelský systém BARAK MX uspěl na Slovensku | IAI
Picture: Israeli BARAK MX system | IAI

 Author: Mgr. Otto Dóka

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