WARSAW, Poland — The Czech Republic’s defense minister has ordered the military police to launch an investigation into the pending purchase of eight ELM-2084 multimission radars from Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries.
Karla Slechtova said she decided to probe the planned contract due to “extremely serious findings,” local news agency CTK reported. The military police is also looking into the Defence Ministry’s ongoing procedure to acquire 12 multipurpose helicopters, according to the minister.
The acquisition is estimated to be worth about 3.6 billion koruna (U.S. $163.5 million).
Last March, Slechtova said she would not sign the deal unless the 3-D radars are interoperable with NATO’s air-defense system. The move followed a decision by the Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency that declined to approve the documentation for the acquisition. Without the institution’s certification, it would be impossible to integrate the radars with NATO infrastructure, according to the minister.
The purchase is to allow the Czech military to replace its obsolete Soviet-designed radars with new equipment.
Under the helm of Slechtova’s predecessor, Martin Stropnicky, the country’s incumbent foreign minister, the Czech ministry selected Elta Systems’ bid in December 2016 after evaluating three offers submitted by France, Sweden and Israel.