Czech Army's process for selection of future APC reaches testing stage

With the Army aiming to replace its BMP-2 armored personnel carriers, three shortlisted competitors are displaying the technical and tactical capabilities of their APCs. The testing is expected to be completed in June ahead of the final decision  

Czech BMPs. Photo: Army of the Czech Republic

The Czech Army's process for selecting replacements for its BMP-2 armored personnel carrier and T-72 main battle tank has reached the stage in which the three shortlisted competitors are demonstrating the technical and tactical capabilities of their vehicles, German website Soldat & Technik reported.

At the invitation of the Czech Ministry of Defense, BAE Systems sent the CV90, General Dynamics European Land Systems sent the Ascod, and Rheinmetall sent the Lynx KF41. The three infantry fighting vehicles demonstrating their capabilities in the field and on a shooting range are being carefully inspected in order to determine their usability and reparability based on the Army's requirements. The testing that began a few days ago is to be completed in early June without the results being announced. After a further review by the ministry, the Czech government will make a decision. A request for submission of final offers is expected to be issued in time for the procurement contract to be signed this year, according to the report.

The procurement is considered likely to consist of up to 210 armored personnel carriers worth about 1.9 billion euros. At least 40 percent of the components are to be provided by Czech companies, mainly state-owned company VOP CZ. The first vehicles are to be delivered from 2023. With a production rate of five to ten APCs per month, manufacturing is expected to be completed by 2027, the website said. 

It should be noted that Israel has also been involved in the competition to a certain extent. In September 2017, Israel Defense reported that the Czech government approached the Israeli government with a request to receive a quote for the "Namer" APC, but the Israeli government did not respond by the deadline for submission of bids. Later, in December 2019, Israel Defense reported that in a demonstration for the Czech Army, General Dynamics unveiled an Ascod Type 42 APC with a UT30Mk2 weapon station made by Israel's Elbit Systems. The station includes an ATK 30mm gun, anti-tank missiles, a fire control system, a laser warning system and a smoke grenade launch system.