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Právo: Army plans to buy new missile defence system

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Prague, Oct 19 (CTK) – The Czech Defence Ministry plans to buy a new missile defence system to replace the old Soviet-made 2K12 KUB mobile surface-to-air missile system, known as “three fingers of death,” and it has addressed five missile producers, daily Pravo writes on Wednesday.

Such a missile system costs billions of crowns.

“The aim of the market survey is to gain information on the existing modern medium-level air defence systems, the technological trends of the manufacturers and the systems used in other countries,” Defence Ministry spokesman Vladimir Lukovsky told the paper.

He said the ministry expects to receive the offers from the missile companies in November.

Lukovsky said the price of the contract will not be released. According to experts, it will be from several billion crowns to tens of billions of crowns.

The ministry addressed the U.S. company Raytheon, which manufactures the Patriot missile system, the European holding MBDA, which includes the BAE Systems and EADS, and probably also the Israeli company IAI, which produces the Iron Dome defence system.

The effective range of the missiles should be 20-50 km.

General Bohuslav Dvorak, former chief of the military’s armament section, said the Czech army ought to have such defence missiles also because the country should be capable of protecting its nuclear power plants.

The 25th Air Defence Missile Regiment based in Strakonice, south Bohemia, has four Soviet-made KUB systems equipped with missiles whose lifespan will expire in 2020 and modern short-range missiles RBS-70.

Lukovsky said the military will also buy a 3D Mobile Air Defence Radar (MADR) for the new missile defence system. He said both acquisitions were connected.

Three bidders are competing for the MADR contract worth 3.5 billion crowns in the final round: the French firm Thales, the Israeli Elta and the Swedish SAAB.

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