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Czech Republic to sign $396 million weapons deal with Nexter

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By Reuters
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PRAGUE – The Czech Republic will buy 52 new Caesar artillery pieces from French group Nexter Systems for 8.5 billion crowns ($395.6 million) to replace older howitzers dating back to the 1970s, the Defence Ministry said on Monday.

Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar said on Twitter a contract would be signed by the end of September.

“The participation of Czech industry in the overall volume of deliveries has been crucial for us from the very beginning,” the minister said. “And it will be fulfilled in the level of 40% of the value of the deal.”

The ministry said the weapons would be ready to be deployed between 2024 and 2026.

The first four would be completed in France and the rest in the Czech Republic, mainly in cooperation with Czech group CSG, which will supply cabs and the chassis on which the weapons will be installed, the ministry said.

The Czech Republic, a NATO member, has boosted army funding as it seeks to replace outdated machinery, although it remains below the NATO spending target of 2% of GDP.

($1 = 21.4850 Czech crowns)