#

​Tanks Made in 1968 and Other Oddities of Czech Military Aid to Ukraine

1518
Repair and modernization of T-72 tanks in the Czech Republic before shipment to Ukraine, January 2023 / Photo credit: Lukáš Kaboň for Deník.cz
Repair and modernization of T-72 tanks in the Czech Republic before shipment to Ukraine, January 2023 / Photo credit: Lukáš Kaboň for Deník.cz

An official document from Prague reveals the contents of defense materiel provided to Ukraine by its Western neighbor and some unexpected details surface

On request from the Přísaha political movement, the government of the Czech Republic declassified the list of military supplies and equipment provided to Ukraine since the beginning of the russian all-out invasion in February 2022. This is the first time this sort of data is published officially.

According to the document, Prague has transferred, among other things:

  • 4 units of "aircraft equipment" (received by Czechia in 2005– 2006);
  • 62 tanks (received in 1968, 1977, 1985–1989, and 1993);
  • 131 infantry fighting vehicles (1973–1989, 1993, and 1999);
  • 13 self-propelled howitzers and 12 multiple rocket launchers (1980–1986, and 1977–1985, respectively);
  • 16 air defense systems (1973–1993).
Read more: "Four European Countries Transferred New Batches of Military Aid to Ukraine"

There are at least two mysterious items in the list above. First is the tanks "received in 1968" and later gifted by the Czech Republic to Ukraine, considering that the serial production of the T-72 only commenced in 1974. Secondly, the mentioned 4 units of "aircraft equipment" that originate in 2005–2006, assuming these were Mi-24 helicopters. Unfortunately, there is no reliable open data that could help in assessing where this equipment came from.

At the same time, a clear reference point in this timeline is 1993 when the Czech Republic and Slovakia were splitting the military arsenals inherited from Czechoslovakia during the process of their separation into independent states.

Mi-24V attack helicopters received from the Czech Republic in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, July 2022
Mi-24V attack helicopters received from the Czech Republic in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, July 2022 / Open source photo

With a closer look through the comprehensive overview from the Czech Ministry of Defense, available at this link, we can also see the following aid provided to Ukraine since the outbreak of the war:

  • 47 non-armored vehicles,
  • 128 mortars with 17,400 associated shells, 4,900 artillery rockets and 84,600 shells for barrel artillery,
  • 645 anti-tank missiles,
  • over 40 thousand units of various small arms, and 4.3 million rounds of ammunition for them.

The total declared value of the delivered goods amounts to EUR 241.5 million.

Transportation of Czech 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine, April 2022
Transportation of Czech 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers to Ukraine, April 2022 / Photo credit: Echo24

It is essential to note that the figures presented by the Czech MoD may differ from previously known data, potentially because the Ministry exclusively disclosed the equipment transferred through the intergovernmental agreements between Prague and Kyiv. This clarification might account for disparities in figures.

For instance, independent calculations by Oryx from July 2023 estimated that Prague had already or was in the process of delivering over 100 T-72 tanks, ~100 BMP-1 armored vehicles, up to 30 MLRS of various types, and an unspecified quantity of other artillery systems.

But we should make an important remark: the public release of the figures on military aid to Ukraine followed a request from the anti-system political movement Přísaha, led by Robert Shlacht, a former high-ranking official of the Czech Ministry of Internal Affairs. In this context, we should not rule out a potential factor of "political expediency" that might have influenced the figures disclosed by the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic is preparing to send T-72s and BMP-1s to Ukraine, April 2022
The Czech Republic is preparing to send T-72s and BMP-1s to Ukraine, April 2022 / Open source photo

Earlier Defense Express reported on the substantial military assistance provided by the Czech Republic to Ukraine since the outbreak of the russian military invasion of Ukrainian territories, as well as joint projects initiated while it lasts. In particular, during the First International Forum of Defense Industries (DFNC1) in late September this year, the Czech Ministry of Defense discussed the production of CZ Bren 2 assault rifles as well as Tatra trucks in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Armed Forces are expected to receive Mi-24 attack helicopters from the Czech Army soon. Also, the Czech Republic hosts a repair plant for maintenance and capital repairs of Ukrainian T-64 main battle tanks.

Read more: CZ BREN 2 is to Get "Made in Ukraine" Labels: Facts to Know About this Czech Assault Rifle