PRAGUE -- The Czech Republic signed a deal to buy a new air defense system for its military from the Israeli government, the Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
The SPYDER system, which is made by the Israeli state-run company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., is capable of providing protection against aircraft, helicopters, bombers, cruise missiles and other weapons.
The defense ministry said the deal to get four short-range air defense batteries is worth 13.7 billion Czech koruna ($630 million), with the delivery to be completed by 2026.
Defense Minister Lubomir Metnar said the Israeli system would be key in the ongoing modernization of the Czech armed forces.
It would replace an obsolete anti-aircraft Soviet-era 2K12 KUB system to defend military and civilian centers such as industrial hubs, nuclear power plants, airports and other important facilities.