04:06 GMT21 February 2020
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    Prague plans to purchase 12 helicopters, eight 3D radar systems and 42 armored TITUS vehicles.

    PRAGUE (Sputnik) — The Czech Defense Ministry is planning to place new arms orders in 2016 worth more than 22 million Kronas ($1 billion), a local news website reported Friday, citing documents prepared by the ministry for parliamentary approval.

    "The army has, after long years of uncertainty, been given a clear budgetary framework and the government approved the development concept. Now it is necessary to initiate the gradual modernization of armaments and other equipment," Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky was quoted as saying by the Novinky news website.

    Among the planned purchases are 12 helicopters, eight 3D radar systems and 42 armored TITUS vehicles, the website reported.

    In July, French Gen. Jean-Paul Palomeros, then NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, stated that the Czech Republic defense budget was too small. He said that the country allocates about 1 percent of its GDP to defense, despite the legal obligation of NATO members to spend at least 2 percent. The Czech Republic has since vowed many times to increase its military spending.

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    NATO, Martin Stropnicky, Czech Republic
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