Prague, May 25 (IANS) The Czech Republic government has approved a plan to purchase 246 CV90 infantry fighting vehicles from Sweden.
The country’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the deal worth 59.7 billion Czech crowns ($2 billion) will also include 29 workshop vehicles and spare parts, reports Xinhua news agency.
Initially, the Czech Republic had planned to acquire 210 units of CV90 combat vehicles, with a possible option for an additional 36 units in the future.
However, it decided to purchase all 246 units due to “rising prices of combat equipment”, according to the Ministry.
The deal also includes a commitment from Sweden that the Czech defence industry’s contribution to the production will reach at least 40 per cent of the contract’s value, it said.
The Czech News Agency has called the deal “the largest army purchase in the modern history of the Czech Republic and one of the largest state orders ever”.
According to Defence Minister Jana Cernochova, the first vehicles could be delivered in 2026, and by 2030 all should be delivered.
In another statement issued, the Ministry said the country will also start talks with Germany on the joint purchase of around 70 Leopard 2A8 tanks.
Last year, the Czech government said the country’s defence spending could reach 2 per cent of the gross domestic product by 2024, a year earlier than previously planned.