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The next stage of the procurement programme to replace the BVP-2 IVF and the T72 MBT has now begun in the Czech Republic, with the demonstration of technical and tactical capabilities by three competitors. The procurement process has thus picked up speed again after being threatened by delays and even a complete halt.

At the invitation of the Czech Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems has sent the CV90 IFV, General Dynamics European Land Systems the Ascod IFV and Rheinmetall the LYNX KF41 IFV to the Czech Republic for testing. There, the three vehicles have to demonstrate their performance in the field and on the firing range. In the workshops, the vehicles will be closely inspected in order to gain knowledge about operability and maintainability measured against their own military requirements.

The tests, which began a few days ago, are to be completed at the beginning of June without any results being announced. After a further inspection loop through the ministries, the Czech government will make a decision. It is expected that a call for best and final offers will be issued in time for a procurement contract to be signed this year.

Czech Competition Characteristics

The number of vehicles is estimated at up to 210 with a procurement volume of €1.9Bn with the first vehicles to be delivered by 2023. At least 40 per cent of this is to be provided as value added by Czech companies, first and foremost the state-owned company VOP CZ. With a production rate of five to 10 IFVs per month, production is expected to be completed by 2027.

The IFV programme in the Czech Republic is one of manyprocurement programmes with which the young NATO members in Eastern Europe are bringing the equipment of their armed forces closer to the standard of their western neighbours and increasing interoperability within NATO.

Gerhard Heiming