Czech weapons flow into Ukraine

Ukrainian serviceman install a machine gun on the tank during the repair works after fighting against Russian forces in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday, April 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
By M B
3 Min Read

So far, the Czech Republic has provided Ukraine with military assistance worth almost 3 billion korunas (€122 million), announced the Czech Ministry of Defense on Friday.

According to unofficial sources, the Czech Republic sent ammunition, small arms, and heavy equipment to Ukraine. The heavy equipment included Dana self-propelled howitzers, Grad RM-70 salvo rocket launchers, Soviet-made T-72 tanks, and infantry fighting vehicles. However, the government does not publish details of the weapons sent for security reasons.

Czech Ministry of Defense spokeswoman Jana Zechmeisterová confirmed that Czechia is negotiating with Germany regarding military aid to Ukraine. The German newspaper Die Welt reported this week that Germany had offered the Czech Republic military material and weapons in exchange for the equipment that Prague would send to the Ukrainian army. The Czech army can send older equipment, which the Ukrainian soldiers know how to operate.

“With the German side, it is now a matter of setting up a cooperation model, not a specific offer,” said Zechmeister. Ukraine also received military material, purchased thanks to a charity drive organized with the help of the Ministry of Defense by the Ukrainian embassy. By mid-April, people and companies had contributed a billion korunas (€41 million).

At the same time, Czech armaments companies became involved in the repair of Ukrainian military equipment. The Ministry of Defense announced last week that the first contract is for the repair of T-64 tanks by the Czechoslovak Group companies.

A satellite band worth a billion

On Friday, Deputy Minister of Defense Lubor Koudelka signed an agreement with Airbus Defense and Space to lease the TASCAT satellite band for better and safer communication between soldiers on foreign missions. Over the course of 15 years, the defense ministry will pay 1.08 billion korunas (€44 million).

“The tactical satellite communication service is characteristic with high flexibility associated with the immediate establishment of communication with a unit on the move or conducting combat operations,” the ministry said. Czech soldiers operate with terminals and radio stations that can work in TACSAT but have not yet had a UHF satellite band available for the system operation.

The army has been interested in TACSAT for a long time. The urgency of its acquisition increased with the war in Ukraine. The system will serve primarily to ensure the security of Czech soldiers who deploy in foreign operations in the Baltics, Africa, and Slovakia. A multinational NATO combat group has been operating in Slovakia since April.

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