Ministry of Defence to enter into negotiations with Israeli Government to acquire three Heron drones
The Ministry of Defence will shortly commence negotiations with the Israeli Government for the acquisition of three Heron 1 drones including all accessories consisting of ground control stations, data terminals, shipping containers and other material. The acquisition of these machines is based on the Czech Armed Forces' Capability Development Concept, which identifies these machines as key in conducting aerial reconnaissance and performing other tasks in direct combat support and protection of Czech Armed Forces units.
"As with other major acquisitions, we have chosen the G2G route, i.e. direct government-to-government negotiations. This will enable us to set up long-term cooperation and ensure the operation, repair and supply of spare parts of the delivered military equipment throughout its entire service life," said Defence Minister Jana Černochová, adding that the contract between governments also creates conditions for gaining experience in the use of military equipment by the armed forces of the respective country, including verification of technical and military parameters, experience in training and combat deployment. This reduces operation and maintenance costs in the future.
The MoD has conducted preliminary market consultations in recent months to determine which UAV best meets the needs of the military. The Heron 1 type from Israel's state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries emerged as the best from these consultations. "Based on the assessment of the individual required parameters provided by the approached unmanned systems suppliers to the designated MoD project team, the selected vehicle most closely matches the anticipated use within the Czech Armed Forces and meets the future requirements for full use both on the territory of the Czech Republic in training and for possible use in support of troops in foreign operations," says Colonel Pavel Nakládal, who assessed this area for the Army.
The next step will now be to start negotiations with the aim of achieving the lowest possible price and the shortest possible delivery time. "I believe that the contract will be concluded this year," said Defence Minister Jana Černochová.
If you want to know more about the Heron system, read our earlier interview with Eyal Assenhaym, vice president of marketing and sales for IAI's UAV group.