Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Pritishp333
Rafael SPYDER SAM (Surface to Air Missile) air defense System, on February 4, 2013

Israeli defense contractor Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has closed a deal to sell its Spyder surface-to-air missile systems to the Czech Republic. The Czech Armed Forces are projected to operate the new systems for at least 20 years, according to Defense News.

The 13.69 billion koruna ($627 million) contract signed by the Czech Ministry of Defense is intended to replace the country’s outdated Soviet-designed 2K12 Kub surface-to-air missile systems.

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The Czech defense industry will supply products and services worth more than 30 percent of the value of the contract.

Delivery of the four launchers in the system are to be completed by 2026, the Czech Ministry said.

“I appreciate the willingness of the Israeli government to share with us a state-of-the-art defense system that will move our military towards 21st century capabilities,” Czech Defense Minister Lubomir Metnar said in a statement.

“Finally, we will get rid of our dependence on the Soviet Kub from the 1970s, which do not meet the current requirements for airspace protection,” he said.

The total cost of the acquisition to the Czech budget, including maintenance and repair costs, is expected to reach some $1 billion (23 billion koruna).

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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