The Czech Republic will purchase 48 long-range I-Derby ER air-to-air missiles from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The missiles complement the Spyder short-range air defense system it bought from the Israeli arms manufacturer in 2021
The I-Derby system allows simplified integration on fighter aircraft, including the JAS 39 Gripen currently in use by the Czech Air Force.
According to local reports, the Czech defense ministry values the missile purchase at $120 million, with the contract signing expected on Oct. 31.
The ministry noted that several Czech companies will be involved in the Derby missile procurement, accounting for at least $14 million worth of missile containers, integrated logistical support and information systems.
Under its recently released national security strategy, one of Czechia’s focus areas is the development and production of technologies strategically important to the country’s defense industry.
Modernization is also one of the strategy’s centerpieces, manifested in the country’s recently announced aircraft purchase plans. These purchases include 24 military F-35 Lightning II fighter jets from the United States and two C-390 Millennium military transport planes from Brazilian firm Embraer.