- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Czech Republic Witnesses Explosive Growth in Arms and Security Exports, Reaching CZK 30 Billion in 2022
In a stunning turn of events, the Czech Republic has experienced a remarkable surge in the value of its arms and security exports, reaching a staggering CZK 30 billion in 2022, nearly doubling from the previous year. This announcement came from Jiří Hynek, President of the Association of Defence and Security Industry of the Czech Republic, who underscored that these export figures represent an all-time high, with the production volume soaring by approximately one-fifth, surpassing 50 billion crowns when compared to the numbers from 2021.
Hynek stressed that such record-breaking export levels are unlikely to be replicated, attributing this unprecedented surge to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. This conflict not only led to increased supplies to the conflict zone but also raised concerns about the potential spread of hostilities to neighboring nations.
An astonishing 45 percent of these exports found their way to Ukraine, with approximately 70 percent consisting of ammunition, primarily in large calibers. Czech companies also supplied Ukraine with ground equipment, including cars, tanks, armored vehicles, howitzers, and rocket launchers.
It’s noteworthy that a substantial portion of the exports consisted of materials produced in previous years, particularly ammunition, which accounted for more than half of the total exports in 2022, a significant contrast to the approximately 15 percent in previous years. Prospects for this year’s exports are estimated to be around 20 billion crowns.
In the long term, Hynek highlighted that weapons and security materials are predominantly exported to the United States, European Union nations, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, with exports to Africa also showing growth.
While the production volume in 2022 witnessed a significant year-on-year increase of approximately one-fifth, reaching over 50 billion crowns, Hynek noted that while it was a prosperous year for many companies within the Defence and Security Industry Association, those with a lower share of defense production faced challenges. Rising costs, particularly in the energy sector, were a notable concern for firms during the year.
Hynek further disclosed that there were 1,500 export licenses granted in the previous year, up from 1,200 in the preceding year. These licenses are a prerequisite for businesses seeking to export military equipment and involve approval from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, as well as the ministries of foreign affairs, interior, and defense.
The Defence and Security Industry Association, representing over 90 percent of Czech companies in the defense and security sector, is primarily composed of small and medium-sized enterprises that predominantly focus on civilian production.
Additionally, Prime Minister Petr Fiala revealed that between January and May this year, the Czech Republic supplied Ukraine with a range of military assets, including 24 tanks, 76 infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), and 645 anti-tank guided missiles. These supplies also encompassed 16 specialized vehicles for the air defense system, 57,000 rounds for cannons and howitzers, as well as 144 anti-aircraft guns. Minister Jana Černochová emphasized that there is still equipment in the army’s inventory that can be provided to support the besieged country.
Article by Prague Forum