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Czech arms makers are against joint EU arms purchases

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Brno, June 19 (CTK) – The Czech Defence and Security Industry Association (DSIA) does not support the planned setting up of a European Defence Fund (EDF) because it fears that big arms concerns would win all the major contracts, DSIA head Jiri Hynek told CTK today.

Most Czech arms makers fear that they would only be allowed to do inferior work. They rejected the idea of joint purchases of military materiel through the EDF.

“We have a lot of people capable of doing research and development, not only just bending metal plates,” Hynek said.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker proposed the creation of the EDF earlier this month. Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said previously joint purchases made by EU members might open access to new markets for Czech arms makers.

Hynek said the EDF seemed to him similar to the Comecon organisation of the former Soviet bloc.

He said international projects of the Eurofighter combat aircraft and the NH90 helicopter were economic failures and lasted extremely long. It actually took 32 years to produce the Eurofighter, he added.

Hynek considers such broad cooperation nonsense. “It is like utopian socialism. If two or three countries cooperate, it still makes sense,” he said.

Czech arms makers have recently been thriving. In 2016, Czech arms and ammunition exports reached the record high volume of 18.8 billion crowns and they are likely to further increase this year.

($1=23.490 crowns)

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