Wednesday, 23 April 2014

CASA plane's anti-missile system fails again

ČTK |
3 December 2012

Prague, Nov 30 (CTK) - The protection system against guided missiles (DAS) of the four CASA transport planes that the Czech military bought has failed in the tests again, Defence Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek told CTK Friday.

The E15 daily wrote earlier Friday that the anti-missile system does not function properly.

The Czech military received the four CASAs in 2010. The DAS system was to fully operate in July 2011, under the original contract.

The military's tests were to be completed by Friday, but the DAS system did not pass them. If the system passed the tests, the military would have taken the DAS over.

"Unfortunately, despite significant progress in its activities and stability, there are results that do not correspond to the specification in some parameters and these will have to be checked again," Pejsek said about the DAS.

The military tests have been interrupted at request of the supplier, the Czech firm Omnipol.

The ministry does not want to install a protection system from a different producer.

Pavel Bulant, head of the National Armament Office, said the ministry will wait for the producer to remove the defects.

He said the longer the delay, the higher the fine for Omnipol.

The ministry is now considering extending the deadline for the elimination of the defects by one more year, E15 writes.

Pejsek said the defects have not yet been eliminated because the suppliers of some components do not react to the defects flexibly, because adverse weather prevents the testing of some parts of the system and because foreign workers need to have access to classified information.

The Defence Ministry says the CASAs cannot be used in Afghanistan due to the defective DAS. But Omnipol argues that foreign militaries fly planes without anti-missile protection within the Afghan mission.

The Czechs will markedly reduce their military operation in Afghanistan.

The purchase of three CASA C-295 planes for 3.5 billion crowns and the swap of five Czech-made L-159 subsonic fighters for the fourth CASA were approved by the Czech government in 2009.

According to earlier media reports, the acquisition of the CASAs was suspicious and the contract was probably overpriced. Senior ministry officials allegedly pushed the contract through against the will of the military leaders.

Former defence minister Vlasta Parkanova and her deputy Jiri Stanek are prosecuted over the CASA deal.

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