Illustrative photo – State enterprise VOP CZ from Šenov u Nové Jičín, view of the company's operations.
Prague – State enterprise VOP CZ will repair Ukrainian armored vehicles in the Czech Republic. Novojičínská zbrojovka concluded a memorandum with the Ukroboronprom concern on Monday. The Ministry of Defense, which is the founder of the state enterprise, announced this on its website www.army.cz. Ukroboronprom also confirmed the signing of the agreement on Facebook. None of the parties published further details about the type or amount of technology. The signing is related to last year's agreement between the Czech Republic and Ukraine on the creation of a so-called joint defense cluster, i.e. joint enterprises that will aim to increase the production of military equipment for Ukraine.
“The state enterprise VOP CZ and the Ukrainian state concern Ukroboronprom concluded a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of armored vehicle repairs on Monday, February 6,” the ministry said. It reminded that the Novojičín armory mainly deals with repairs of military equipment and engineering production.
“We are happy for the outcome of these negotiations and we are ready to actively participate in helping the defense of Ukraine,” said Marek Špok, director of VOP CZ, according to the website, after signing the memorandum. The document was also signed by the director of the Agency for Intergovernmental Defense Cooperation (AMOS) Aleš Vytečka. “The subject of the memorandum is bilateral cooperation on repairs of heavy equipment, it also contains a specific plan and schedule for the implementation of repairs or provision of spare parts,” said Vytečka. According to him, Ukrainian armored vehicles will be repaired in the Czech Republic.
AMOS acts as the coordinator of the Czech part of the defense-industrial cluster. Its creation was agreed upon last year during a visit to Ukraine by Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The ministry described the memorandum signed this week as the “first tangible result” of this cluster. The cooperation of the joint ventures is to cover not only heavy equipment, but also small-caliber and large-caliber ammunition, aviation, radars, rocket launchers, and space and satellite technologies.
The Ukrainian server Militarnyi said today, with reference to Ukroboronprom, that the memorandum concerns the joint production, repair and development of armored vehicles, as well as the development of supply chains for spare parts.
The Czech Ministry of Defense stated that beyond the signing of the memorandum, held a number of other meetings in Ukraine. According to the office, the Czech Republic is one of the most active supporters of Ukraine in the field of military equipment supplies and defense-industrial cooperation. According to Vytečka, this requires personal contacts and regular trips to the region. “That is also why the delegation of the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs also included representatives of seven Czech companies, who spent several days discussing very specific projects,” he added.
Czech private companies are already participating in the repair of Ukrainian armored vehicles, representatives companies do not want to talk for security reasons. Last April, the Ministry of Defense announced that Czech arms companies would repair Ukrainian combat equipment. The first contract was supposed to be the repair of T-64 tanks at the company of the Czechoslovak Group.