The Czech Ministry of Defense (Ministerstvo obrany Ceské republiky) has informed the Israel Ministry of Defense of its decision to equip its military with an Israeli air defense system produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Spyder mobile air defense system to replace Soviet-made2K12 Kub, NATO reporting name SA-6 Gainful currently in service with the Czech Army. Following an international tender process, which lasted several years, the Czech Ministry of Defense informed the Directorate of International Defense Cooperation (SIBAT) in the Israel Ministry of Defense, of its decision to equip its military with Israeli air defense systems.
The Czech Ministry of Defense intends to procure 4 SPYDER-MR batteries in a government-to-government deal, valued at around $430 million with deliveries expected in 2023. The Czech government approved the launch of procurement negotiations for four Israeli “SPYDER” batteries, within the framework of a GTG agreement between the two countries. Israel was selected as the sole supplier for the project and the expected agreement between the countries’ defense ministries is estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars. This is another significant step in strengthening security relations between two countries.
The SPYDER (Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby) is an Israeli short and medium range mobile air defence system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems with assistance from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Rafael is the prime contractor and IAI is the major subcontractor for the SPYDER program. This system achieved a notable milestone in 2005 when missiles were fired against test targets in Shdema, Israel and scored direct hits. The system provides effective protection of valuable assets, as well as first-class defense for maneuvering forces located in combat areas. Since then, it has been showcased in multiple military exhibitions throughout the world.
The SPYDER is a low-level, quick-reaction surface-to-air missile system capable of engaging aircraft, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles, drones, and precision-guided munitions. The system is fitted atop a Tatra truck, a Mercedes-Benz Actros truck, a MAN TGS truck, Scania P-series truck, Dongfeng truck, or a TELAR. It implements the Python-5 and Derby missiles of the same company. The SPYDER launcher is designed to fire Python-5 and Derby surface-to-air missiles which share full commonality with the air-to-air missiles. There are two variants of the SPYDER: the SPYDER-SR (short range) and the SPYDER-MR (medium range).