Czech MoD Signs $ 520 million Contract to Purchase Rafael Air Defence Systems

Defence Industry

By ARIE EGOZI

Tel Aviv: The Czech ministry of defence will purchase Rafael advanced air defence systems in a contract valued at $520 million. According to the contract the Czech Republic will be equipped with 4 Rafael SPYDER batteries, which include MMR radars produced by IAI. The agreement includes the involvement of Czech defence industries.

SPYDER is an air defence system based on Rafael’s Python and Derby air-to-air missiles and is designed to intercept a variety of airborne threats including planes, helicopters and UAVs. These will be integrated into the NATO country’s infrastructure and will defend Czech skies. Czech industries will also be involved in the process outlined in the agreement.

At a press conference after the signing, Amir Eshel, Director General of the Israeli MOD said that Rafael’s system represents the excellent capabilities of Israeli defence industries, which are leaders in the global defence market.

Rafael’s CEO Yoav Har Even said that the agreement is a strategic milestone for Rafael’s air defence systems in Europe.

In 2019 , the Indian Air Force, shot down a Pakistani UAV using the Rafael SPYDER air defence system. The use of air-air missiles for a ground – air system is gaining more popularity and Rafael is negotiating with more potential customers. The truck mounted Spyder uses a combination of two Rafael air- air missile – the Derby radar guided missile and the Python 5, IR missile.

According to reports, the Pakistani UAS was shot down by the radar guide Derby missile. The SPYDER is a low-level, quick-reaction surface-to-air missile system capable of engaging aircraft, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles, drones, and precision-guided munitions. It provides air defence for fixed assets and for point and area defence for mobile forces in combat areas.

The SPYDER launcher is designed to fire Python-5 and Derby surface-to-air missiles which share full commonality with the air-to-air missiles. There are two variants of the SPYDER: the SPYDER-SR (short range) and the SPYDER-MR (medium range). Both systems are designed for quick reaction, and to operate in any weather condition.

The SPYDER-SR uses the EL/M-2106 ATAR radar while the SPYDER-MR incorporates the EL/M-2084 MMR radar. The latter is the same radar used by the Iron Dome system currently in service with the Israel Defense Forces.