The Israeli Defense Ministry (IMoD) has signed an agreement to sell air defence systems produced by Rafael to the Czech Republic Ministry of Defense (MoD). Under the government-to-government agreement, the Czech Republic will receive four Rafael SPYDER batteries. The SPYDER system includes a radar array produced by Elta, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries. The deal also includes the Czech defence industries’ involvement. Worth approximately $520m (ILS2bn), the deal was signed under the guidance of SIBAT, the International Defense Cooperation Directorate of the IMoD. The agreement was signed by IMoD Director-General major general Amir Eshel and Czech Republic Armaments and Acquisition Deputy Minister Lubor Koudelka.
Rafael CEO major general Yoav Har-Even said: “Rafael is proud to complete its first air defence agreement with a Nato country, following a long and thorough process. The agreement also includes a maintenance contract for the next two decades as well as local production, two trends that Rafael has been increasing in recent years.”
Amir Eshel, director-general of Israel’s Defense Ministry said: “The agreement that we signed today is yet another milestone in the strategic cooperation between our two countries and also reflects the visions of both Ministers Gantz and Metnar to further develop cooperation between Israeli and Czech industries. This is the first time that Israel will deliver a full air defence system to a Nato country, and we are proud and thrilled that the Czech Republic is the one.”
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. 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). Both systems are quick reaction, all weather, network-centric, multi-launchers, and self-propelled. A typical battery consists one central command and control unit, six missile firing units, and a resupply vehicle. The SPYDER-SR uses the EL/M-2106 ATAR radar while the SPYDER-MR incorporates the EL/M-2084 MMR radar.