Israeli Spyders to Replace the Czech Air Force SA-6 Missiles

A KUB (SA-6) missile system at the Temelin nuclear power plant. Photo: Michal Voska

The Czech government approved the launch of procurement negotiations for four Israeli “SPYDER” batteries, within the framework of a G2G 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 over $400 million.

Israel has offered the Spyder system in a direct Government to Government (G2G) sale. Negotiations are expected to commence soon and conclude at the beginning of 2021. The estimated value of the contract is $428 million. Delivery of the systems is expected to begin in 2023 and span over two years. The SPYDER system includes a radar system produced by Elta, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Eight radars were acquired in 2019. The MADR systems will be delivered in 2021, tested, licensed, and inducted in service by 2023. The systems will be adapted to operate in accordance with the Czech and NATO command and control systems.

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An important part of the negotiations will be the share of the Czech industry involvement. Prague wants to secure at least 30% of the program to Czech companies, The truck-mounted system will employ locally produced Tatra 815-7 8×8 chassis with ballistic protected cabins. Other elements likely to be locally sourced are the integration of communications, datalinks and C3, training, and logistical support for at least 20 years.

The air-transportable SPYDER system comprises a Command and Control Unit
(CCU) with associated radar, 3-6 truck-mounted missile firing units (MFU), and support vehicles. The system’s open architecture design enables adding up external components, such as radars, datalinks, command and control. These missiles are dual-use missiles (can be employed for air-to-air or surface-to-air missions). The I-Derby is qualified for use with JAS-39 Gripen used by the Czech Air Force.

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