The UK and Czechia discuss future defence export prospects as new UK Defence Minister James Cartlidge visits IDET 2023 in Brno.
News Release, Whitehall, 25 May 2023: The UK and Czechia have strengthened defence export prospects as new Defence Minister James Cartlidge visited the International Defence and Securities Technologies Fair (IDET) in Brno today [Thursday 25 May].
Visiting stalls from some of the UK’s key Defence companies, including SUPACAT, Marshall Land Systems and BAE Systems, Cartlidge discussed how the UK defence industry can further support the Czech Armed Forces through defence exports and government-to-government support. Meeting with senior government officials, Cartlidge outlined how the UK would continue to support Czechia, building on a long-standing defence and security partnership between the two nations.
Czechia is about to complete negotiations to sign a contract with UK-based defence company, SUPACAT, for 24 High Mobility Transport (HMT) vehicles for their Armed Forces, known in the British Army as the JACKAL series of reconnaissance and long range patrol vehicles. The UK has been producing these vehicles for more than ten years, with contracts delivering on the Prime Minister’s priorities to grow the economy and support UK jobs.
Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, said: “We have a strong defence relationship with our Czech counterparts, standing firm together against Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, as part of NATO.
“Building on this existing partnership, we remain committed to ensuring we continue to work together, offering the best of British industry to support the military capabilities of our close NATO Ally.”
The strong defence partnership between the UK and Czechia is showcased by the British Military Assistance Training Team (Czechia), in place for 23 years and jointly delivering UK thought leadership and career and tactical training courses to 15 countries across the region, including Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. Czech and British soldiers have served alongside each other for more than 20 years in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as (under EU and UN mandates) Mali and elsewhere in Africa.
Czechia is very much a central European standard-bearer for Ukraine, proportionally ahead of many larger European nations in having providing over £1.5 billion in lethal and non-lethal aid since the conflict begun. Earlier this year, Czechia and UK were both part of a group of European nations that signed The Tallinn Pledge, committing to collectively pursue delivery of an unprecedented set of donations including main battle tanks, heavy artillery, air defence, ammunition, and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine’s defence against Russia’s illegal invasion.