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Czech army withdraws from contract on bulletproof vests

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Prague, Jan 15 (CTK) – At the end of last year, the Czech military withdrew from a contract with the Ceska zbrojovka arms maker on a supply of bulletproof vests, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) told Prima TV on Sunday.

Czech soldiers were supposed to receive some 2,300 vests for 68 million crowns by the end of November, 2015, but the vests have not been delivered yet.

Both sides accused one another of having caused the delay.

An administrative court is dealing with their dispute.

The lifespan of the bulletproof vest that Czech soldiers use now expires in February.

The Ceska zbrojovka is a strategic partner of the Defence Ministry and a significant producer that supplies a lot of other military equipment, Stropnicky said.

However, as no progress was achieved in the dispute, the ministry withdrew from the contract at the end of last year, he added.

Due to the delay, there is the threat that foreign mission soldiers will not have ballistic protection.

This is why the Defence Ministry submitted a proposal for purchasing bulletproof vests through NATO’s Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) to the government in July.

The ministry is supposed to pay 52 million crowns without VAT for 1000 sets of ballistic vests.

Stropnicky said on Sunday the Americans would deliver the first sets in the spring and the other a few months later.

In the summer, the Defence Ministry put up a tender for the delivery of 5,500 bulletproof vests for the army and the military police.

The Euro server has reported that the Argun firm, seated in Hradec Kralove, east Bohemia, won the tender, offering the price of 210 million crowns. It should deliver the vests in four phases. The first 1,300 will be supplied by November 30, 2017 and the last 1,500 by September 30, 2020. Out of the whole supply, 5,000 vests are for soldiers the remaining 500 for the military police.

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