The Czech Republic and Slovakia have decided to cooperate in the acquisition and operation of new CV90 tracked combat vehicles
The Ministries of Defence of the Czech Republic and Slovakia will jointly address issues related to the acquisition of CV90 tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles. For example, they will consult and seek opportunities to involve national defence industries in the development and production of IFVs. They will also fine-tune the technical specifications of the vehicles to be procured in order to achieve maximum efficiency in the development of new specialised versions of the IFVs. This will be made possible by a declaration signed by ministers Jana Černochová and Jaroslav Naď on Saturday 27 August during the SIAF 2022 International Aviation Days in Malacky.
"Specifically, it means coordinating the procedure for the acquisition and subsequent operation of the CV90 tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles in many areas – technical, industrial or legal," said Defence Minister Jana Černochová. "The declaration gives us better opportunities for future cooperation, production and development of spare parts, joint training, sharing of capacities and capabilities. We are thus strengthening our defence capability. And it will also lead to a gradual reduction in operating costs," Černochová added.
According to Jaroslav Naď, this is a project that is unique for both countries in terms of size. "We have found a solution that is very interesting for our soldiers because if we complete it, they will have the same equipment on which they can work together, train together and be deployed together."
Cooperation can also take place in the area of operating the Infantry Fighting Vehicles themselves. This concerns the maintenance of operability or the supply of spare parts. The two ministries also intend to look for ways to cooperate on exercises for military units armed with the same types of IFV and intend to share information on the experience of operating IFVs in both armies.
On 20 July, Petr Fiala's cabinet instructed Minister Černochová to take the necessary steps to cancel the ongoing tender for the IFV. It also instructed the minister to start the process of awarding a new contract by approaching the Swedish Government with a request for Swedish CV90 Infantry Fighting Vehicles. The Slovaks had also opted for the same equipment a month earlier. In both the Czech Republic and Slovakia, these vehicles will replace the morally and physically obsolete BVP-2 combat vehicle still in use. The Czech army requires 210 tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles, our neighbours 152 units.
The new IFVs are to become the backbone of the heavy mechanised brigade that the Czech Republic has committed to build by 2026. The Swedish CV90 vehicles are an established and battle-tested platform with great potential for further modernisation.
Czech Republic and Poland will protect Slovak airspace from 1 September
During the SIAF 2022 International Aviation Days, the Defence Ministers of Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland also signed a declaration on the protection of the Slovak Republic's airspace, which will be provided by the Czech and Polish Air Forces from 1 September 2022 to 31 December 2023.
"Our history as close neighbours has always united us, as have our common values of fighting for freedom and democracy. For the Slovak Republic, this gesture by our Czech and Polish allies and friends is a clear proof of our very close, generational alliance, as well as of our commitment to help each other protect the Central European region, whose citizens have legitimate concerns for their security following the Russian aggression in Ukraine," said Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď. He also thanked his ministerial colleagues for temporarily filling the capability that Slovakia will regain after the delivery of F-16 fighter aircraft by the US.
Minister Naď added that under these technical agreements, the Czech Republic and Poland will provide their fighter aircraft and crews ready to respond quickly to a possible violation of the Slovak Republic's airspace. The Czech Republic, in turn, will provide the necessary support to the host country, including refuelling, air navigation and asset protection services, as required.
In accordance with the political declaration and technical agreements, the Czech Republic and Poland will perform tasks related to the protection of Slovak airspace for a period of 16 months, which may be extended by agreement of the participants. The Slovak Republic receives the protection of its airspace from its neighbours free of charge, it will only pay for the actual aviation fuel consumed in case one of the allied aircraft has to actually take off.