The new management of the Ministry of Defence will decide on the continuation of the IFV tender for the Czech Armed Forces
On Friday, 5 November, the Ministry of Defence announced that an expert committee has completed the evaluation of the bids for the delivery of 210 tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) from 1 September this year from three potential suppliers, i.e. BAE Systems with the CV90 vehicle, GDELS with the ASCOD vehicle and Rheinmetall Landsysteme with the Lynx vehicle. The unanimous decision of the Panel was that: 'The tenders of all three tenderers are not evaluable on the basis of the responses/submissions submitted as none of them meet all the requirements of the Contracting Authority. The deficiencies identified relate, for example, to missing or inaccurate information on the technical characteristics of the vehicles offered or incomplete information on cooperation with the Czech defence industry. The original deadline for signing the contract for the delivery of the armoured vehicles was planned for 2019.
Picture: On Friday, 5 November, the Ministry of Defence announced that an expert committee had completed the evaluation of bids for the delivery of 210 tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs). | Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic
Why did the expert committee make this decision and what could follow? The answers can be found not only in the published information, but also in other ministerial documents. First of all, the work of the 15-member commission (these are people from across the ministry and the army) is not over. The Commission has only assessed the current situation, studied the extensive documentation of all bidders and the quality of the bids, and issued an opinion. It will therefore be up to the new leadership of the Ministry of Defence to assess the situation.
It is clear that the army needs the new tracked IFV, no one has yet questioned the Concept for the Build-up of the Army of the Czech Republic (KVAČR), and the purchase has budgetary coverage in the long-term development of the Czech budget for the next 2 years. Therefore, this tender can go ahead with little delay.
A relatively simple solution is offered: Potential suppliers have received the official decision of the commission, however, there is certainly room for consultation on errors and a new deadline for corrected bids, all within the framework of meeting the deadlines for the delivery of new armoured vehicles for the Czech Army.
It can also be expected that at this point the price and number of armoured vehicles tendered will be revised. "Of the strategic modernisation projects launched, this is the only one that failed to conclude a contract before the elections. There are several reasons for the delay, the main ones being the reduction of the MoD budget and the impossibility of personal negotiations and postponement of the tests of the offered BVPs due to the covid-19 pandemic. Even so, the project has managed to reach an advanced stage and the new leadership of the ministry should decide what the next steps will be," Jan Pejšek, director of the MoD's communication department, told our magazine.
The solution to this situation is therefore up to the new minister (or minister) of defence. He will decide on the next course of action and possibly invite the expert commission to follow up on this multi-round selection procedure. In any case, the new leadership of the ministry should bear in mind that new IFVs for our 7th Mechanised Brigade need to be procured as soon as possible, as the existing BVP-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicles are already obsolete and totally inadequate for carrying out the activities of the "heavy brigade".