PRAGUE, May 24 (Xinhua) — The government of the Czech Republic on Wednesday approved a plan to buy 246 CV90 infantry fighting vehicles from Sweden.
The country’s defense ministry said in a statement that the deal worth 59.7 billion Czech crowns (2.71 billion US dollars) will also include 29 workshop vehicles and spare parts.
Initially, the Czech Republic had planned to acquire 210 units of CV90 combat vehicles, with a possible option for another 36 units in the future. But it decided to buy 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 defense industry’s contribution to production should amount to at least 40 percent of the contract’s value, it says.
The Czech News Agency has called the deal “the largest army purchase in the Czech Republic’s modern history and one of the largest government orders ever.”
According to the Czech defense minister, the first vehicles could be delivered in 2026, and by 2030 all should be delivered.
In another statement on Wednesday, the ministry said the country will also open talks with Germany on the joint purchase of around 70 Leopard 2A8 tanks.
Last year, the Czech government said the country’s defense spending could reach 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2024, a year earlier than previously planned.