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CR wants US military aid in exchange for radar base

The Czech Republic connected the talks on the possible stationing of a US radar base on Czech soil with demands for US military aid in the form of transport aircraft and upgraded airspace defense, public Czech Television (CT) reported on Monday.

“We have asked the United States for coordination in the acquisition of two middle-size transport tactical aircraft, and we would imagine this within the talks on missile defense,” Deputy Defense Minister Martin Bartak said. Moreover, the Czech military would like the United States to help it upgrade airspace defense, CT said, adding that the Czechs are probably interested in the Patriot system. Such military-technical cooperation will probably not be included in any of the treaties that Czech parliament is to pass in summer, the Czech news agency CTK said. The talks on the respective agreement on military cooperation have just begun, CTK added.

According to Bartak, the Czech Republic would not participate in NATO’s joint project Globemaster within which the country, along with some other allies, planned to acquire and jointly operate two to three C-17 transport aircraft. The Czechs would not join the project due to its high costs, CT said.

The United States plans to build a radar base in the Brdy military district, some 90 kilometers southwest of the capital Prague, along with an interceptor missile base in neighboring Poland. Some 70% of Czech citizens are opposed to the project. (