Tuesday 11 July 2023

Czeching Off the Shopping List: An Overview Of Czech Army Acquistions

By Stijn Mitzer and Joost Oliemans
The Czech Army is set to undergo a major transformation that will eventually see the replacement of most remaining Cold War-era equipment in favour of modern Western types. Planned to include military hardware such as 73 Leopard 2A8 MBTs, 246 CV90 MkIVs, 62 Caesar 8x8 SPGs, 4 SPYDER SAM batteries, 10 AH-1Z attack helicopters and up to 24 F-35 stealth fighter aircraft, the Czech Republic as a result will be in possession of a highly capable and well-equipped military. The desired end state will be achieved in two steps, as part of Milestone 2025 and Milestone 2030. [1]

With population of just under eleven million, the Czech Armed Forces are comparatively small. Being a landlocked country and with no large rivers flowing through it, Czechia does not possess a navy. As part of the Czech Armed Forces Development Concept 2030, the future core fighting element of the Czech Land Forces will consist of two mechanised brigades: 7th Heavy Mechanised Brigade, 4th Medium Mechanised Brigade, an airborne regiment: 43rd Airborne Regiment, an artillery regiment: 13th Artillery Regiment and a reserve force of some 10.000 reservists.
The capabilities of the mechanised brigades could potentially be expanded through the acquisition of multiple rocket launchers, a capability that has been sorely lacking since the retirement of the last RM-70s in 2011. A wider introduction of ATGMs and reconnaissance UAVs would also be a logical step based on lessons learned in Russo-Ukrainian War. Future acquisitions by Czech Air Force could include stand-off weapons such as the AGM-158B ALCM and the AGM-88G ARM and a commitment to additional flight hours in the NATO Tanker Transport Fleet programme.

This article attempts to list (future) equipment acquisitions by the Czech Army and Air Force. This list focuses on heavy weapons systems and doesn't include ATGMs, MANPADS, trucks, radars and ammunition. When deemed appropriate, the future quantity of the equipment category is given. This number includes both future equipment acquisitions as well as equipment already in service. This list will be updated as new acquisitions are reported.

Army - Pozemní Síly

Tanks (Future Quantity: 58+)

  • Tyskland 58+ Leopard 2A8s [Planned Acquision] (To replace 30 T-72M4CZs)

Infantry Fighting Vehicles (Future Quantity: 339)

  • 172 CV90 MkIVs [Between 2026 and 2030] (Will replace ~120 BVP-2s)
  • 68 KBVP Pandur IIs [Planned Acquisition] (Will supplement 99 Pandur II IFVs already in service)

Specialist Armoured Vehicles

Light Strike Vehicles

  • 24 Jackal HMT 400s [2024]
  • Missing flag.png Programme To Acquire 150 Light Assault Vehicles [Planned Acquistion] (Will replace the Land Rover Defender LSVs)

Artillery (Future Quantity: 62 SPGs And 8+ SPMs)

  • 62 155mm CAESAR 8x8 Self-Propelled Guns [Between 2024 and 2026] (Will replace 53 152mm SpGH DANA SPGs)
  • Missing flag.png Programme For Self-Propelled Mortars [Planned Acquistion] (Will replace 8 120mm SPM-85 PRAM-S')

Electronic Warfare Systems (Future Quantity: 8)

  • 8 STARKOMs [Delivery scheduled for completion in 2023]

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • Missing flag.png Programme To Acquire 200 Small Surveillance UAVs [To enter service from the mid-2020s onwards] (Will supplement a range of U.S. models already in service)

Air Force - Vzdušné Síly

Fighter Aircraft (Future Quantity: 48)

  • 24 F-35As [To be delivered in the mid-to-late 2020s] (Will replace 14 JAS-39 Gripens)

Jet Trainers (Future Quantity: 4+)

  • 4(+4 As Option) Aero L-39NGs [2026] (Will replace 6 L-39Cs)

Transport Aircraft (Future Quantity: ~2)

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

  • Missing flag.png Programme To Acquire Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance Surveillance UAVs [Planned Acquisition]

Attack Helicopters (Future Quantity: 10)

  • 10 AH-1Z Vipers [Delivery Ongoing] (Will replace the retired Mi-24V fleet)

Transport And Utility Helicopters (Future Quantity: 35)

  • 10 UH-1Y Venoms [Delivery Ongoing] (Will replace a portion of the Mi-8/17 fleet)

Reconnaissance Balloons (Future Quantity: 1 Or 2)

  • 1 Or 2 STRATOMs [Will be delivered from 2023 onwards]

Reconnaissance Satellite (Future Quantity: 1)

  • 1 GOLEM [Will be launched in 2024]

Air Defence Systems (Future Quantity: 4 Batteries)

[1] The Czech Armed Forces Development Concept 2030 https://www.army.cz/images/id_8001_9000/8503/CAFDC.PDF
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