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E15: Czech firm to modernise howitzers without tender

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Prague, April 12 (CTK) – The Czech company Tatra Trucks has gained a contract for the modernisation of 33 Dana self-propelled howitzers without a tender, the daily E15 writes today.

The decision was made by a Defence Ministry commission on the basis of a marketing survey conducted among Czech arms makers.

The military will pay over 1.5 billion crowns for the contract.

The Defence Ministry plans the delivery of the modernised weapons for 2018 to 2020, E15 writes.

One of the reasons of why the military decided to use an exception from the law and not to address other potential suppliers is that the howitzers are mounted on the chassis manufactured by Tatra, E15 writes.

In addition, the firm has introduced the upgraded howitzers under the name M1M, it adds.

Along with Tatra, which belongs to Czech businessmen Jaroslav Strnad and Rene Matera, other Czech arms makers can take part in the contract.

E15 writes the project may include the company STV Group that has upgraded a similar howitzer type for the Polish military or the state-owned Explosia mmunication maker.

Two years ago, the Defence Ministry presumed that the modernisation will cost 1.1 billion crowns.

E15 writes the current calculation is higher due to the higher VAT and may not be final.

In addition, the price was increased by the purchase of guided firing systems and the acquisition of GPS equipment from the U.S. government, it adds.

Last year, Tatra produced 1326 vehicles, which was 56 percent more than a year ago. In 2015, it scored a net profit of 390 million crowns and the sales of 3.7 billion crowns.

($1 = 25.112 crowns)

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