Czechs and Slovaks: Joint acquisition programmes and participation in foreign operations

Autor: Oldrich Holecek

The joint acquisition of equipment was one of conclusions from talks of General Vlastimil Picek, Chief of the General Staff, Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, and Major General Peter Vojtek, Chief of the General Staff, Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, at Slovak towns of Cadca and Zilina during 29 February and 2 March 2012.

The joint procedure in purchase of mobile air defence radars MADR, airport radars or machine guns MINIMI – it is several chances to save money from defence budgets of both countries in the future, the highest military representatives have agreed upon during the talks.

The present Czech radar equipment, besides newly acquired 3D radars FADR to be put in operation within NATINADS at the end of 2012, is technically and morally outdated with ending its lifetime soon. The similar situation is with the Slovak military equipment and therefore both parties have agreed to create a working group to prepare materials for joint projects.

“We expect to buy 10 radars of MADR type and three pieces of airport radar,“ General Picek said during the talks, adding that because of resources the process will have to be spaced in several years. “I would like to open this issue at V4 talks at the level of chiefs of general staffs and offer participation in this project also to Hungary,“ Picek said.

“This is the mutual interest. We plan to buy nine stationary and two mobile radars. The joint acquistion would save not small money from our resources,“ General Vojtek said.

Talks of the highest military representatives of both countries have also included:

  • MINIMI – machine guns could be acquired through Alliance NAMSA agency;
  • EU Battle Group – a V4 unit ready to be deployed in 2016. The Czech military is ready to increase its contribution from 350 personnel to 450 or up to 700 personnel. The Slovak military will contribute with 350 up to 450 personnel, considering possible increase;
  • ISAF – new ways of cooperation in training before deployment to Afghanistan. Slovakia offers to use its military training area close to Malacky;
  • Non-military threats – further cooperation agreed in mutual help within integrated rescue systems of both countries;
  • Logistics – Multinational Logistics Coordination Centre, based in Prague, will organize standardisation logistic exercise Capable Logistician 2013 in Slovakia. So far, 32 countries confirmed their participation.
  • Air transportation – a joint exercise of Czech and Slovak military is being planned to start implementation of an agreement, according to which the Czech Air Force will provide strategic medical evacuation of ill or wounded Slovak soldiers;
  • Downsizing structures – General Picek presented transformation of Czech national command structures bringing up to 25 percent decrease. General Vojtek said that the Slovak military would not change its structure dramatically but change contents and relations among units and facilities. He announced planned changes of the special law to the state service of military professionals, which came in force seven years ago.

“These talks were very stimulating for both parties,“ General Vojtek said at the end of meeting. “I am glad we have found areas, which, if implemented, could bring savings to both parties,“ General Picek added.

The programme of the meeting included laying wreaths to Memorial of Jozef Gabcik, commander of the Anthropoid group, participant in assassination of Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia Reinhard Hendrich (1942). By visiting the 5th Special Purpose Regiment at Zilina, where both delegations watched dynamic and static demonstrations of weapons, equipment and training of a unit, General Vlastimil Picek concluded his working trip in Slovakia.

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Posted: March 4, 2012