Defence cooperation between Czech and Swedish armed forces continues

Autor: Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

During a two-day visit to Sweden, Minister of Defence Martin Stropnicky and his delegation met with his counterpart, Peter Hultqvist, and also visited the SAAB manufacturing site for a presentation of its facilities, products and equipment.

"Minister Peter Hultqvist discussed Russia’s increasing propaganda campaign against Sweden’s ongoing cooperation with NATO. He spoke about the present threat of Russian military reconnaissance flights over the Baltic Sea which could threaten and endanger civilian air traffic," said Minister Stropnicky.

Sweden is one of our most important partners in the field of defence cooperation. The two armed forces regularly take part in international exercises, military consultations, joint education projects, and logistics and acquisition processes.

"Cooperation between our two air forces is of primary importance and sits very highly on our agendas, considering we both use the SAAB 39 Gripen supersonic aircraft," continued Mr Stropnicky.

Czech air force has leased over the last 12 years fourteen SAAB JAS 39 Gripen supersonic aircraft, although the Czech military also use the RBS Bofors missile systems, Arthur radars and other systems.

Swedish ground forces, on the other hand, are interested in acquiring Czech small firearms which are manufactured by Ceska Zbrojovka in Uhersky Brod (south-east Moravia), and Czech companies could also supply other types of radar systems to Sweden.

The Czech delegation later visited the SAAB factory at Linköping, where they were shown the latest upgrade in equipment for the Gripen aircraft; the new generation RBS-70NG air defence missile system and other military equipment which may be of interest to the Czech Armed Forces.

The Swedish defence industry also manufactures the 3D MADR (Mobile Air Defence Radar) radars and, currently, the Czech Armed Forces are in negotiations to acquire eight units.

Brigadier General Libor Stefanik, Commander of the Czech Air Force, stressed the need to modernize Czech radar equipment since the current Soviet built radars were somewhat antiquated. New radars would increase reliability, carry guaranteed maintenance cover and possess a longer lifespan.

"We highly value our cooperation with SAAB. It offers the finest solutions and products, and we will continue to work together, because renewal, modernisation, and readiness is the top priority of the Czech Armed Forces," said Minister Stropnicky following his visit to Linköping.

By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

Photos by Michal Voska and Lasse Hejdenberg

April 12, 2016