The Czech Army wants to buy at least one large combat drone for its new
Unmanned Systems Battalion, Chief of the General Staff Aleš Opata said in
Prostějov on Thursday at a ceremony marking the creation of the new army
The combat drone, an unmanned machine weighing several hundred kilograms will complement the already used smaller drones.
The Unmanned Systems Battalion which will have up to 300 members should start operating in October of this year and become fully operational by 2025.
Česká zbrojovka Group (CZG) is considering selling some of its shares on
the Prague Stock Exchange in order to raise funds for an expansion in the
United States, where it is planning to construct a factory, the small arms
manufacturer announced in a press release on Monday. It would be the first
time in 12 years that the company’s shares are sold in Prague. However,
the business also stresses that, at this time, it is only one of the
courses of action it is considering and did not disclose the other options.
Last year, CZG announced its plans to build a manufacturing and distribution centre in Little Rock, the capital of the State of Arkansas. The company hopes not only to expand on the American private market, but sell to American federal security services, according to the press release.
Czechia's regions and its capital Prague will be able to draw on CZK
52 million of funding from the Ministry of Interior to use on protection of
their "soft targets", a 30 percent increase compared to the
previous year, Czech Television reported on Friday. Largest investments in
this area are expected from Prague, as well as the Vysočina and Olomouc
The subsidy program of the Ministry of the Interior is intended to increase the protection of schools and public spaces from armed attacks. The grant can be used for the reimbursement of expert studies, the creation of security plans, but also educational and training events.
A soft target is an individual or object that is not heavily protected, but can be especially vulnerable to a military or terrorist attack.
The deadly attack in Ostrava’s university hospital in which a gunman killed six people and injured three others on Tuesday, shocked the nation and opened up many questions regarding security around so-called “soft targets”. I spoke to former Czech Military Intelligence chief Andor Šándor about the present state of security in Czech hospitals, what more can be done to increase it and the lessons to be learnt from Tuesday’s attack.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has dismissed the Czech
Republic’s case against the validity of an EU directive introducing
stricter rules on the acquisition and possession of firearms, Czech
Television reported on Tuesday. The Czech government hoped to cancel the
directive, which bans certain semi-automatic weapons and magazines, because
it considered it too restrictive on gun owners.
The directive was originally proposed in reaction to a wave of terrorist attacks in Europe and was approved by the European Council and Parliament in 2017. The court stated on Tuesday that the Czech objections were unfounded. EU authorities did not exceed their powers by adopting the directive, nor did they interfere with the rights of arms owners or holders, Czech Television reports.
The integration of Western Balkan countries into the European Union is in
the economic and security interest of the EU, Hungarian Foreign Minister
Peter Szijjarto told journalists in Prague after talks with his Czech,
Polish and Slovak counterparts on Monday. Szijjarto said the accession
talks with these countries had seen little progress in the last six months,
which he considered to be one of the biggest mistakes of the European
Commission of Jean-Claude Juncker.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, who hosted the Visegrad meeting of foreign ministers, likewise expressed support for faster negotiations with the Balkan states. Petříček said he hoped that accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia would be launched next year.
Prague police have asked the municipality for a green light to activate automatic facial recognition cameras at six locations. That’s a red flag for some personal privacy advocates, who fear a Big Brother scenario. But law enforcement officials say an upgrade of the Czech capital’s closed-circuit television system is overdue, and controls will be put in place to prevent any abuse.
The Czech Republic has halted arms exports to Turkey in response to
Ankara's incursion into northern Syria, Interior Minister Jan
Hamáček (Social Democrats) announced via Twitter on Monday evening,
following a government meeting. Trade Minister Karel Havlíček, whose
ministry had published the country's arms export figures earlier that
day, said that armaments exports to Turkey only make up around CZK 140
The news comes after meeting of the European Union's foreign ministers in Luxembourg, where member states pledged to suspend weapons exports to Turkey, but did not go as far as to implement a formal EU-wide arms embargo. During which Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) told journalists that he will propose to Prime Minister Andrej Babiš that the Czech Republic take part in an arms embargo on Turkey.