A major security trade fair has got underway in Brno. Over 500 firms from
35 countries are taking part in the International Defence and Security
Technologies Fair (IDET). The opening of the event was attended by Czech
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar, as well
as the chief of the general staff of the Czech Army, Aleš Opata.
IDET runs until Friday. Taking place alongside it are the related trade fairs PYROS, which is focused on fire-fighting technology, and ISET, which is dedicated to security technology and services.
US Senator Rand Paul will try to block the sale of helicopters to the Czech
Army, despite the sale having been approved by the US State Department in
The Republican lawmaker from Kentucky has put forward several resolutions in the upper house of Congress to prohibit the agreed sale of military equipment also to Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
The Czech Army is looking to buy 12 combat or multipurpose helicopters from the American companies Bell Helicopter and General Electric. According to the Czech Embassy in Washington, Senator Paul’s chances of stopping or delaying the sale are slim.
Celebrations marking the liberation of Plzeň by General Patton’s Army on May 6th 1945 took place in the West Bohemian city at the weekend. Despite the cold, thousands of people lined the streets of the city to greet the war veterans who rode at the head of the Convoy of Liberty organized in remembrance of the event.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš wants to push through a change of legislation
which would allow the rapid deployment of the country’s special forces in
allied foreign missions without the approval of Parliament.
The prime minister made the announcement shortly after visiting one of the country’s special units in Prostějov, saying a situation could arise where it would be necessary to send out a special unit within hours or even undertake a secret mission. He said that in such cases approval from the government’s National Security Council should be enough.
The idea was sharply rejected both by the prime minister’s partner in coalition, the Social Democrats, and the Communist Party which supports the minority government.
The Ministry of Defence has released its tender specifications for a new model of Infantry Fighting Vehicles which are set to replace its aging BVP-2s. Four pre-selected companies were invited to the negotiations on Wednesday and the ministry hopes to choose the supplier for its most expensive contract yet by the onset of September.
The Ministry of Defence on Wednesday revealed terms for a new tender for
210 tracked vehicles worth some 53 billion crowns, the largest single order
in Czech military history.
Four European manufacturers were invited to submit bids to supply the infantry fighting vehicles: BAE Systems, General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS), PSM and Rheinmetall Landsysteme.
Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar said price will be the decisive factor.
One condition is that a significant part of production and servicing take place in conjunction with VOP CZ, a Czech state enterprise run by the ministry.
Representatives of Parliament, the Ministry of Defence and resistance
fighters have honoured the memory of anti-Nazi resistance fighter Václav
Morávek. The rememberance act took place in Prague’s Dejvice district,
where Morávek was shot 77 years ago.
The act took place without the Czechoslovak Freedom Fighters (CSBS) a group which has garnered controversy in recent years due to some of the comments made by its leader Jaroslav Vodička and the fact that its membership base includes former Communist State Security operatives. Both the Senate and the Defence ministry have recently distanced themselves from the group.
General Milan Píka, whose father also held that rank and was executed following a Communist Party-orchestrated show trial, has died at the age of 96. Himself punished on false charges, the World War II veteran nonetheless managed to rise to the top of the Czechoslovak military – and eventually clear his father’s good name.
Czechs are looking back at 20 years in NATO. Their country joined the Alliance together with Hungary and Poland on March 12, 1999. Since then NATO has grown significantly and undertaken several major international military operations. Vít Pohanka highlights the most important developments in the Alliance over that time and how the Czech Republic participated in them.
At a ceremony marking the Czech Republic’s entry to NATO twenty years ago, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček handed out medals of merit to 14 people who assisted the country in preparing for membership and meeting its new obligations. The laureates included key players on the international scene at the time as well as Czech diplomats and military officials who worked hard to make it happen.
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