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Czech defence to buy ballistic protection for 52 million from USA

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Prague, Nov 1 (CTK) – The Czech Defence Ministry will buy 1000 pieces of plate carriers from the U.S. Army and it supposes to pay 52 million crowns without VAT for the bullet-proof vests, Petr Medek, spokesman for the ministry, told CTK on Tuesday.

The Defence Ministry has addressed the Americans because no agreement on the supply of more than 2000 new bullet-proof vests by the Ceska zbrojovka Czech armament maker has been reached because of protracted disputes, Medek said.

He added that the lifespan of the vests Czech soldiers use now will expire next February.

Ceska zbrojovka won a tender for 2291 bullet-proof vests. It offered the price of 68 million crowns, which was markedly less than the Defence Ministry supposed. The vests were to be supplied by the end of November 2015.

However, the military has not yet received them. The two sides accused one another of why the deadline was not honoured and the case is now being handled by the administrative court.

The danger that soldiers will not have ballistic protection on their foreign missions led the ministry to submit to the government in July a plan to quickly buy it through NATO’s NSPA agency, which services soldiers deployed abroad. The ministry was to pay 17.5 million crowns without VAT for 500 SPCS Magnum TAC-1 carriers.

In the summer, the ministry announced a contract for the supply of 5500 bullet-proof vests for the military and the Military Police, worth 272 million crowns.

Medek said bids can now be made. The equipment will be supplied in four stages by the end of November 2020.

Medek said the military quickly needs more vests and it wants to again buy US-SPCS (Soldier Plate Carrier System) Magnum TAC-1 plate carriers, which it bought in summer.

“It will serve not only soldiers on missions, but also NATO Response Force soldiers,” Medek said.

The Defence Ministry supposes that it will pay about one third more than previously.

“The difference in the price is due to that direct supplies for missions by NSPA are relieved of taxes and other duties. However, according to the relevant agreements, these vests can only be used in foreign operations, not for the needs of the NATO and EU response forces,” Medek said.

That is why the ministry must buy new vests right from the U.S. government.

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