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Defence

Czech Government and arms industry to host event for Irish businesses in Dublin

The event, due to be held in Dublin city on Tuesday, will focus on the possibilities of Czech Republic companies looking to sell products to the Irish military.

A GROUP OF Czech Government officials and arms industry companies will host a gathering from its defence sector in Ireland this week. 

The event, due to be held in Dublin city on Tuesday, will focus on the possibilities of Czech Republic companies looking to sell products to the Irish military. 

According to Dublin based diplomat Filip Vurm, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Czech Embassy in Dublin the country will showcase primary radar technologies as well as fighter jet interceptors. 

The Irish State is currently working on designing a project to equip the Irish Defence Forces with primary radar systems – as previously revealed by The Journal this could cost upwards of €300m.

This will now not be delivered until 2028 at the earliest according to an Irish Government timeline. 

“The Czech Republic prides itself as having one of the world’s most respected defence and security industries, and stands as one of the most industrialised nations in the European Union by percentage,” Vrum said. 

“When it comes to innovation and effectiveness, our defense and security solutions are second to none.

“We lead in areas such as future-proofed primary radar technologies, CBRN defense, maintenance and upgrade services, bullet proofing, jet interceptors, and other maritime surveillance solutions.

“Our approach is different as we want to share our experiences in industrialisation, find partners in Ireland as part of this industrial forum. Due to the currently challenging global security environment, the security industry is gaining importance as a tool to maintain peace and stability,” he said. 

It is understood that Irish industry leaders will attend the event in Dublin and some senior members of the Irish Defence Forces are expected also. It’s understood there will be no direct sales of arms to the Irish military as part of this week’s event. 

Eoin Brennan, Economic Specialist at the Czech Embassy in Dublin and organiser of the Czech-Irish Defence and Security Forum, said that the event was a “pivotal Economic Diplomacy initiative”.

“Our primary objective is to strengthen economic relations between the Czech Republic and Ireland in the crucial sectors of defence and security.

“We aim to facilitate partnerships between Czech and Irish industry to enhance on-island capabilities and to mutually accelerate economic growth, in the field of dual-use technologies,” he said. 

A memo of understanding between the Czech industry association and the Irish Defence and Security Association (IDSA) will be signed during the event. 

A spokesperson for the IDSA said that the massive investment mooted by Government in Defence that it is critical to get the policies in place to facilitate that growth in military capability. 

“The Irish government will be spending billions on upgrading our defence capability in the coming decade.

“The IDSA believe it is essential that the right policies are put in place now to ensure this significant spend enhances Ireland’s defence and security capability to protect our society, while also having a positive impact on our economy, creating high value jobs for our graduates, driving R&D, creating valuable Intellectual property, driving exports from our indigenous economy and attracting new sources of FDI to Ireland,” he said. 

The spokesperson said that as Ireland is procuring major equipment like aircraft, ships, armoured vehicles or radar systems, that there must be a local support mechanism here in Ireland rather than abroad. 

At present armoured personnel carriers and aircraft are set back to their manufacturers for maintenance. 

“There must be policies in place that ensure the capabilities developed are sovereign, supported and maintained locally to ensure knowledge transfer, security of supply and data, while enhancing supply chain resilience.

“While these policies will of course be focussed on the need to ensure sovereign capability, they will have an obvious positive economic impact too, in that a portion of every large procurement spend would remain in the local economy.

“This will support SMEs, creating jobs, driving R&D, and opening up export opportunities for Irish SMEs through the supply chains of the major international companies, who will ultimately win these contracts,” he added.

Note: This article was updated on Monday 23 October to clarify that the memo of understanding is between the Czech industry association and the Irish Defence and Security Association (IDSA).

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