The French Minister of Defense Came to Prague to Support the Purchase of New Equipment
(Source: Czech Ministry of Defence; issued Sept. 30, 2021)
(Unofficial translation by
The Czech army will receive new cannons. A contract was signed today at the Ministry of Defense for the acquisition of 52 new Caesar self-propelled howitzers from the French manufacturer Nexter Systems. This happened during the visit of the French Minister of Defense Florence Parly, who also discussed Czech-French cooperation in the field of defense with her Czech counterpart Lubomír Metnar.

The contract was signed on behalf of the Ministry of Defense by Lubor Koudelka, Deputy Minister for Armaments and Acquisitions, and Olivier Travert, Nexter Vice President for Export.

According to Minister of Defense Lubomír Metnar, the signing completed another modernization project, which represents a further step forward in building the army of the 21st century.

"By acquiring 52 new NATO-caliber cannons, we will increase our defenses and replace the 40-year-old DANA howitzers now in service," Minister Metnar told a news conference today.

According to the Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces, Army General Aleš Opat, the acquisition of new equipment fulfills another step in the framework of modernization and the goals of force construction. "This purchase will provide the army with fire support for ground troops, which is very important on the current and future battlefields." According to Opat, the Czech artillery will literally "move to another dimension and into the 21st century."

Caesar's cannon is one of the world's best. Compared to the DANA howitzer, it can fire at a distance of more than 40 km, it will also fire more shots in one minute: 6 compared to 4. The advantage of acquiring a French howitzer will also be the use of NATO-standard 155 mm ammunition.

Buying together for a stronger Europe

French Defense Minister Florence Parly described the new howitzers as extremely modern and accurate. She also highlighted the fact that the purchase took place between European countries. "The fact that a European country buys something from another European country in the field of defense is not only an important symbol of our cooperation. We are extremely proud to see our countries building a stronger Europe. "

The negotiations were described by the Minister of Defense as long and demanding, but a good compromise was reached, according to him. The final price is CZK 8.5 billion including VAT, according to Metnar, the price is about a billion lower than the initial offer. From the very beginning, the participation of Czech industry has been key for the Ministry of Defense.

"Czech companies will account for 40 percent of the entire contract. By purchasing, we will also significantly support the domestic defense industry, "said Lubomír Metnar.

Deliveries will take place between 2024 and 2026. Forty-eight new works out of a total of 52 will be produced directly in the Czech Republic, which, according to Metnar, will ensure a high level of security of supply. "We expect Czech companies to continue supplying ammunition and ensuring the life cycle in the future," he added.

Florence Parly: The Czech Armed Forces play a key role in the Sahel

During the bilateral talks, the two ministers focused more intensively on the joint action of the French and Czech armies in the Sahel region. Mali remains a priority for the Czech Republic. According to the Minister of Defense Lubomír Metnar, the security and stability of this West African country is in the interest of the whole of Europe.

The Czechs have been operating in Mali since 2013, last year they commanded EU training missions for seven months, which will be repeated in the second half of 2022. At the moment, they also serve under the banner of the international group Takuba, training of the Malian security forces.

"This unit carried out a number of missions side by side with the Malian partners. Thanks to that, it enabled them to be more confident and effective, "said Florence Parly, alongside French colleagues alongside French troops, saying the Czech Armed Forces play a key role in the Sahel and the Czech Republic and France are among the" main players "in the field.


Signing in Prague of a Contract to Acquire 52 CAESAR Artillery Guns
(Source: French Armed Forces Ministry; issued sept. 30, 2021)
(Unofficial translation by
-- The Minister of the Armed Forces is in Prague today for the signing of a contract for the acquisition of 52 CAESAR guns by the Czech Republic.

-- This contract symbolizes the deep defense relationship between our two countries: the Czech Republic is also present within the Takuba Task Force in the Sahel, as part of operations to support the Malian armed forces in the fight against terrorism.

-- Building a solid defense Europe requires industrial cooperation and exports between European countries:

-- To improve interoperability between our armed forces. Concretely, it is easier to operate together with identical equipment.

-- To strengthen the European defense industry, develop a genuine European market, create and sustain jobs in Europe.

PARIS --- On Thursday, September 30, in the presence of Mrs. Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, and Mr. Lubomír Metnar, Czech Minister of Defense, Mr. Olivier Travert, Export Sales Director of Nexter Systems, accompanied by Mr. Nicolas Chamussy, Managing Director of Nexter Systems, and Mr. Lubor Koudelka, Deputy Minister of Defense in charge of armaments and acquisitions, signed a commercial contract for the acquisition of 52 CAESAR artillery systems, a self-propelled 155mm artillery system , based on an "8x8" chassis.

Czech industry, with a local share of over 40%, will be fully involved in the construction of these systems. The main partner is Czechoslovak Group, whose subsidiaries Excalibur Army, Tatra Defense Vehicle, Tatra Trucks and RETIA will participate directly in the project.

This contract expands the industrial partnership already established with the Titus armored vehicle and contributes to the emergence of a European defense industrial and technological base.

On this occasion, Ms Parly spoke with her Czech counterpart. During the meeting, the Minister of the Armed Forces welcomed the deepening of the partnership between our armies. These are engaged together in the Sahel, first within the EUTM Mali mission, of which the Czech Republic will assume command in the second half of 2022, but also within the Takuba Task Force.

A Franco-Czech Task Group has been operating in partnership with the Malian armed forces since February 2021. The Minister of the Armed Forces particularly welcomed the will displayed by the Czech Republic to extend its commitment within Takuba and to bring new capabilities to it.

The two ministers raised the prospect of a deployment of a Russian mercenary company in Mali, agreeing that it would be incompatible with efforts led by the international community in support of Mali.


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