The Israeli Defense Ministry informed on Friday that the European country of Czech Republic has expressed interest in purchasing the SPYDER air defence systems for its armed forces.
The SPYDER system has been developed by the Israeli companies Rafael Advanced Defense Systems (RADS) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and is capable of engaging aircraft, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles, drones, and precision-guided munitions.
It provides air defence for fixed assets and for point and area defence for mobile forces in combat areas.
The Israeli system is intended to replace the old Soviet-Era Kub missile systems in Czech inventory, intended to defend military and civilian centers such as industrial hubs, nuclear power plants, airports and other important facilities.
The SPYDER was chosen after an extensive evaluation and testing of nine systems from seven major producers. The deal is expected to be worth approximately $430 million and could be signed in early 2021, with deliveries to start from 2023.
Currently, the SPYDER system is in service with four countries which include Georgia, Singapore, Vietnam, and India.
The Indian Air Force deployed the system in operational roles only in 2017 and saw its first combat experience on 26th February 2019, when it was used to shoot down a Pakistani UAV at the Indo-Pakistani border in Gujarat.
In an infamous incident that happened on 27th February 2019, an Indian Air Force Mi-17 was shot down by a friendly SPYDER system in Budgam, Kashmir. The incident resulted in the killing of seven personnel, after which an investigation was conducted and five IAF personnel were found guilty.
Armed with the ground-launched versions of world’s one of the most advanced air-to-air missiles Python-5 and Derby, the SPYDER missile firing system is accompanied by EL/M-2016 or EL/M-2084 radars, depending on the variant.
SPYDER comes in two versions, named the SPYDER-SR (short-range) and SPYDER-MR (medium-range). The latter is achieved by adding boosters to the missiles, increasing their range; and using the EL/M-2084 radar.
A typical battery consists of one central command and control unit, six missile firing units, and a resupply vehicle.