Defence Minister James Cartlidge has visited the International Defence and Securities Technologies Fair (IDET) in Brno to explore opportunities for collaboration and discuss how the UK’s defence industry can further support Czechia’s Armed Forces.

Czechia’s ongoing negotiations to sign a contract with UK-based defence company SUPACAT to procure 24 High Mobility Transport (HMT) vehicles are of particular significance. These vehicles, known as the JACKAL series, serve as reconnaissance and long-range patrol vehicles in the British Army.

The JACKAL High Mobility Transport has been in AfghanistanMali, and, most recently, Ukraine.

Minister for Defence Procurement James Cartlidge, emphasized the strong defence relationship between the two nations, especially in their united stance against Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine within the framework of NATO.

Over the past 20 years, Czech and British soldiers have served side by side in various regions, including the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, and other parts of Africa, under the auspices of the EU and UN mandates.

Czechia has emerged as a leading supporter of Ukraine in Central Europe, proportionally surpassing many more prominent European nations by providing over £1.5bn in lethal and non-lethal aid since the onset of the conflict.

Earlier this year, Czechia, the UK, and other European countries signed The Tallinn Pledge. This commitment signifies their collective endeavour to provide Ukraine with vital military assets, including main battle tanks, heavy artillery, air defence systems, ammunition, and infantry fighting vehicles, to counter Russia’s illegal invasion.

As both countries continue to foster collaboration in the defence sector, their joint efforts are poised to enhance Czechia’s military capabilities further and fortify the region’s security landscape.