Record budget for Czech military modernization bags

Amid growing security concerns in Europe, the Czech Republic is increasing its defense budget, signaling a shift towards modernizing its armed forces and strengthening international partnerships.

The Czech Republic is undergoing a review of its defense capabilities, with particular emphasis on modernization efforts in both the Army and the Air Force. According to GlobalData’s “Czech Defense Market 2023-2028According to the report, the country’s defense budget is expected to jump to $7.7 billion (181.7 billion Kč) by 2028, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1 percent.

The increase in defense spending is fueled by the imperative to upgrade outdated military platforms and enhance readiness for high-intensity conflict scenarios. Notable acquisitions include replacing leased J-39 Gripens with participation in the F-35 program, introducing capabilities such as electronic warfare and long-range strike capabilities.

The Czech Republic completed the agreement for purchase 24 Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, enhancing its defense capabilities and enhancing NATO’s deterrence. The first batch is scheduled for delivery in 2031.

In 2023, the Czech Republic also decided to strengthen its military transport capabilities by negotiating the acquisition of two Embraer C-390s Millennium multi-mission aircraft. The C-390 enhances the Czech Republic’s mission readiness, including cargo and troop transport, medical evacuation and humanitarian operations.

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The modernization effort is expanding across the Army, focusing on restructuring formation structures to meet evolving security needs, enhancing standing strength, and creating an active reserve force.

In addition, the Czech Republic prioritizes investments in emerging technologies, such as drones and modern air defense systems, in order to adapt to evolving security challenges. Defense cooperation with allies, particularly within NATO, has intensified, focusing on joint force operations and interoperability. The country actively participates in EU-led security initiatives, leveraging platforms such as the European Defense Fund to promote research in defense technologies.

Navigating the defense procurement landscape, the Czech Ministry of Defense faces the challenge of aligning its processes with EU guidelines and NATO compatibility.

The Czech Republic’s military modernization effort has been fueled by the need to replace equipment donated to Ukraine after the Russian invasion, as well as improving its capabilities in the face of regional tensions caused by it.

An example of this is the Czech Republic, Denmark and the Netherlands joining forces in an agreement to strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities by facilitating the supply of weapons and military equipment. The agreement includes the provision of modern and refurbished military equipment, including tanks, howitzers, small arms and air defense systems.

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