Czech Army To Expand UAV Capabilities by 2020
According to Jane’s 360, the Army of the Czech Republic (ACR) has unveiled plans to dramatically bolster its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities to include unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) to be procured in 2021.
“The ACR will procure an as yet unknown UCAV platform in 2021 as part of the strategy to further modernise its aerial combat capabilities,” Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson Jan Pejsek told Jane’s on 29 November.
Pejsek said the MoD, together with the ACR, would need to issue a request for information (RfI) from a range of Western manufacturers of UCAV technology.
The MoD plans to invest CZK1 billion (USD47 million) in UAV technology by 2020 to procure additional Boeing Insitu ScanEagle small, long-endurance, low-altitude UAVs following the findings of a MoD/ ACR study into the benefits of UAV technology.
It also plans to procure additional ScanEagle UAVs worth CZK200 million by 2019. The ACR currently operates 10 ScanEagle systems in Afghanistan that it received from the US Department of Defense.
“In the very near future, according to this study, the MoD will procure six additional ScanEagle platforms,” said Czech President Milos Zeman.
The Chief of General Staff of the ACR, General Josef Becvar, said the new UAVs would be used to bolster the capabilities of ACR units serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, which the Czech Republic has pledged to deploy in 2018.
In addition to the ScanEagle, the ACR also operates a small number of mini UAVs, including the AeroVironment RQ-11, AeroVironment Wasp III, and Elbit Skylark I.