Last November, Minister of Defense Alexandr Vondra said that Spanish aviation manufacturer EADS and the Czech arms trading firm Omnipol must deliver the four CASA planes purchased by the Czech defense ministry in full working order, including functional anti-rocket defense system, by end of May, or the order would be cancelled. On Friday, Vondra announced that EADS and Omnipol had agreed to the deadline.
Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra announced on Tuesday that he will recommend the cancellation of the Czech military’s contract for the delivery of four CASA transport planes manufactured by EADS — a subsidiary of Airbus Military — if all faults on the planes are not fixed by May 2012.
Speaking at the annual gathering of the Czech military’s generals on Wednesday, President Václav Klaus said the military has a greater role than just conducting foreign missions. Noting it is the military’s constitutional duty is to defend the borders and unity of the Czech state, the vociferous euroskeptic called upon the army to defend the Czech Republic against globalization and unification in Europe.
Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra (Civic Democrats, ODS) told an annual assembly of military commanders on Wednesday that the Czech military must undergo a reduction of its command structure and civilian staff in 2012.
Napoleon commented that an army marches on its stomach, referring to the logistical problems of moving troops around the European continent. But a different sort of problem faces the Czech army, where slimming soldiers’ stomachs is the order of the day.
In 2012, Czech troop numbers in Afghanistan will probably be reduced to around 520 from the current level of 720, Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra (Civic Democrats, ODS), announced during a televised debate on Sunday. Vondra made the announcement in reaction to criticism by deputy leader of the opposition Social Democrats (ČSSD), Lubomír Zaorálek, that the Czech government had not responded to the planned withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan as recently announced by the US President Barak Obama.
The Czech Army early this month ordered the grounding of all nine of L-39 Albatros jet trainer and combat aircraft following an investigation into a December 2010 accident that forced the pilot to eject. Defense Ministry inspectors now say the state-owned LOM Praha is partly responsible for the crash near Třebíč Biskupice.
Military police chief Vladimír Ložek and another three officers are likely to lose their jobs over the raid on public broadcaster Czech Television (ČT) in March, the daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD) reported Friday citing a source in the defense ministry. The Law and Order unit of the Military Police which conducted the raid was led by officers who were “cut-off from reality” or “inexperienced,” the source added.
The Spanish CASA transport aircraft purchased by the Czech armed forces have failed tests and the new owners are demanding that the supplier, the Czech arms trading company Omnipol, see that the faults are put right within three weeks. The Defense Ministry has said that it will consider cancelling the contract and returning the planes.