The Czech Republic to produce systems for Ukraine to shoot drones

February 17,2023 587
The Czech Republic to produce systems for Ukraine to shoot drones

The Czech Republic will make for Ukraine, and the Netherlands will pay for, a hundred mobile air defense systems based on a modified Toyota all-terrain vehicle equipped with two rapid-fire machine guns, reported on Thursday.

The Netherlands will also buy the necessary ammunition from Czech companies, said the director of the Agency for Intergovernmental Defense Cooperation (AMOS), Aleš Vytečka.

The project will follow the arrangement announced earlier for the modernization of 90 T-72 tanks: the United States and the Netherlands pay for the repair done by a Czech company, and the Czech Defense Ministry coordinates everything.

The project is a response to Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure. According to Vytečka, Western countries supply Ukraine with highly sophisticated anti-aircraft missile systems to defend itself against the strikes. However, the missiles are many times more expensive than, for example, cheap Iranian-made Shahed drones.

Therefore, after consultations with Ukraine and the Czech arms industry, the Czech Republic offered the Netherlands to participate in the project of off-road vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns, which can effectively stop drones and use commonly available and cheap ammunition.

Czechs have already opted for such equipment within the Gift for Putin (Dárek pro Putin) campaign. Its organizers have collected 90 million crowns (around $4 million) for 15 air defense systems called Viktor. According to the Dárek pro Putin website, the system can effectively defend strategic and civilian targets against suicide drone strikes and aerial bombardment. Toyota all-terrain vehicles are equipped with a pair of 14.5-millimeter rapid-fire machine guns that can be used to destroy aerial or, if necessary, ground targets at an effective range of up to two kilometers. The system is also equipped with a night sight.

According to Vytečka, the contract with the Czech company has already been signed. For security reasons, the ministry and arms companies do not publish details of aid to Ukraine.

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