The Czech Republic yesterday signed a government-to-government agreement to purchase eight ELM-2084 ‘Iron Dome’ Multi-Mission Radars (MMR) from Israel at a cost of $125m.

The purchase was agreed by representatives from governments and will form a key part of the Czech Republic’s MADR Mobile Air Defense Radar program.

Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) ELTA division will be the prime contractor on the deal for the radar system that it says offers “air surveillance, air defence, and artillery capabilities.”

In a press release, IAI said: “The MADR systems will be delivered, tested, licensed and accepted in operational condition during 2021-2023 in the Czech Republic, and will be adapted to operate in accordance with Czech and NATO command and control systems.”

IAI vice president and chief executive officer of ELTA Yoav Tourgeman said: “The MADR program expands the global use of the ELM- 2084 MMR radar, known as the ‘Iron Dome’ system radar, which currently includes over 100 systems contracted worldwide (including NATO countries).

“We are proud and honoured to supply the best combat-proven multi-mission radar to the Czech armed forces.”

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According to Israel’s Ministry of Defence (MOD), the agreement also enables the transfer of technology between the countries, adding that 30% of the procurement by value will be completed by the Czech defence industry.

The technology transfer will allow Czech companies to participate in the “design, manufacturing, assembly, integration, testing and life-time maintenance of the systems” according to IAI. However IAI insists certain components will have to be manufactured in Israel, including include Gallium Nitride (GaN) radar modules, trucks and camouflage nets.

Director of SIBAT, the International Defense Cooperation Directorate of Israel’s MOD, Brigadier General (Ret.) Yair Kulas said: “I applaud the agreement that was signed today with the Czech Ministry of Defense.

“Today is monumental for the State of Israel due to the history of Czech support for the State of Israel, since its establishment 70 years ago. This agreement will deepen and strengthen cooperation and relations with our Czech partners.”

Kulas went on to say that the deal showed the confidence international partners have in Israel’s defence equipment, adding that the deal could pave the way for more collaboration with other NATO countries.

Kulas added: “It is an expression of confidence in the capabilities of the Israeli defence establishment and defence industries and highlights the significance of Israeli technology in the face of the threats shared by the international community.

“We hope to see this agreement opening the door for further cooperation with our Czech partners and with additional NATO states.”

Czech Republic’s Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar said: “The acquisition of eight ‘Iron Dome’ radars is one of the key modernisation projects on behalf of the Czech Armed Forces and specifically the Air Defence branch.

“I am very happy that by signing the agreement we start the process of ending our dependence on obsolete Russian machinery and at the same time acquire modern and battle-tested systems from a long-term strategic partner, which Israel indeed is. I am also pleased with the possibilities the agreement opens to the Czech defence companies.”

This was echoed by Tourgeman who said: “These radars will propel forward the Czech Air Force capabilities and enable it to confront the most advanced aerial threats. We believe that the MADR programme will pave the path to additional cooperation between the Israeli and Czech defence industries.”