According to the British company, the agreement signed with the Czechs assumes that a technology transfer is going to be realized, along with creation of new jobs. BAE Systems agrees to open a permanent collaboration with VOP and the Czech industry – as it was stated by Tommy Gustafsson-Rask, BAE Systems Hägglunds President. VOP CZ Managing Director, Marek Špok claims that the Czech Company is able to offer technologies and development and manufacturing capabilities. The Czech official hoped that the newly concluded memorandum of understanding will open a way towards a prospective long-term collaboration with the British company.
BAE Systems and VOP CZ have created a joint offer which primarily includes deliveries of the CV-90 infantry fighting vehicles. At the moment, the Czech Army is still operating the BMP-2 platform, known locally as BVP-2. Nonetheless Prague identified a need to introduce a successor for this vehicle into the inventory of the Armed Forces. The Czech government also decided to significantly increase the defence expenditure which, in a longer run, will make it possible to acquire the track chassis infantry fighting vehicles.
Czech Army already uses a number of Pandur II wheeled APC platforms, fitted with the 30 mm cannons and Spike ATGM launchers, nonetheless, the “heavy” brigade element is expected to receive track-chassis infantry fighting vehicles. Information was also released, suggesting that development of a new infantry fighting vehicle had been considered within the framework of potential international collaboration, e.g. with Poland. A similar option was mentioned by the Polish Deputy Minister of Defence Bartosz Kownacki, in his interview for Defence24.pl.
BAE Systems Hägglunds is a company which designed and manufactures the CV-90 infantry fighting vehicles, currently used, inter alia, by the Armies of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands or Denmark. Some of the Dutch vehicles, coming from military equipment surplus, have been procured by Estonia. The company – in total – has delivered more than 1200 examples of the CV90 platform, in a variety of variants.
VOP CZ is a Czech state-owned company from Šenova in the Nový Jičín district, specializing in development of military equipment. The Czech firm was involved in the manufacturing process of 100 Pandur II APCs, it also offers support within the framework of modernization of the T-72M4 CZ main battle tanks which are going to be received by the land component of the Czech Army.