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Czech military to upgrade its air-defence systems

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Prague, Nov 4 (CTK) – The Czech military will buy the RBS-70 NG man-portable air-defense systems from Sweden for some 700 million crowns to replace the ageing Strela 10-M Russian weapons, daily Lidove noviny (LN) wrote Wednesday.

The missile navigation is secured by computer and this is why it is more precise and faster than a manual navigation, Jan Suchy, commander of the 252nd air-defence unit, said on the Defence Ministry´s website, highlighting the advantages of new Swedish systems if the Saab trademark.

The purchase of the modern Swedish systems will enable the General Staff to lay off the outdated Soviet-made equipment, dating back to the 1960s.

“The aim of the project is to replace 16 S-10Ms with RBS-70 NGs. The project is designed in two phases until 2025,” Jan Sulc, spokesman for the military command, told LN.

Though the command refused to release the sum allocated to the purchase, according to the paper´s findings, the first part of the transaction between 2017 and 2020 will cost 670-690 million crowns.

“The RBS-70 NG is a new generation of the RBS-70 systems that we have had in our arsenal. RBS-70 NG is an optimal tool to complete the air defence armament up-grading to have uniform logistics, operation and training,” Suchy said.

At present, the unit based in Strakonice, south Bohemia, has 16 RBS-70 systems.

“The Soviet-made S-10M systems will be used for the needs of active reserves,” Sulc added.

This step is connected with a reform of the reserve units that are to become a more important part of the military.

In emergency situations, reservists may help professional soldiers or even replace them and this is why they must learn to handle more sophisticated weapons than mere sub-machine guns, LN writes.

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