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Minister: Military rearmament to cost 117 billion until 2026

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Mosnov, North Moravia, Sept 16 (CTK) – The Czech military rearmament plan the cabinet is to discuss on Monday puts the project’s costs at 117 billion crowns until 2025 or 2026, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky (ANO) told reporters during the NATO Days in Mosnov on Saturday.

The document has already been approved by the National Security Council (BRS).

“I expect the cabinet to approve it [on Monday]. This will probably be for the first time that a clear and complex system of military investments will be approved and based on a financial sum earmarked for it. It is nothing made-up groundlessly, but it reflects the [Czech] ambition to reach the [defence spending worth the NATO-required] 2 percent of GDP,” Stropnicky said.

Another concept material, related to the Czech air force and with costs projected at 30 billion crowns, has been approved already, he said.

The military will replace its outdated Soviet-made BVP-2 infantry combat vehicles.

It wants to buy 210 new vehicles at least. The Defence Ministry plans to choose them in a tender.

Stropnicky called the 50-billion-crown deal “a contract of the century” on Saturday.

Earlier this summer, Czech soldiers examined some types of vehicles that may replace the BVPs at the Libava training grounds, north Moravia.

Three of the types, the German-made Puma and Lynx, and Ascod, produced by the U.S. General Dynamics company, are on display during the NATO Days in Mosnov this weekend.

Stropnicky said the purchase of the new infantry vehicles is unprecedented within the Czech military’s armament decisions so far, therefore a decision on it cannot be made by the outgoing government but only by its successor to emerge from the October 20-21 general election.

Stropnicky, a representative of the ANO movement, which is expected to win the election, said he would not like Prague to buy any unique vehicle brand but a type that has been used by Prague’s allies in NATO.

The summer tests in Libava also focused on the CV90 vehicle, the optical parts of which will be supplied by the Czech Meopta company. Its representatives and the Saab company signed a memorandum of partnership in producing the vehicle’s shooting control system in Mosnov on Saturday.

The vehicle is produced by Sweden’s BAE Systems Hagglunds and it is a part of the military equipment in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

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