The Czech Republic will purchase a short- and medium-range air defense system made by Israeli state-owned supplier Rafael, the country's defense ministry said on Monday.
The ministry said it had informed the cabinet it would conclude a government-to-government deal to buy Rafael's SPYDER Short Range Air Defense/Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (SHORAD/MRSAM).
It said it would pay 13.69 billion crowns ($631.81 million) for the system, which will replace Soviet-made technology from the 1970s.
The government has been raising defense spending to modernize its armed forces but has admitted it would fall short of its pledge as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to spend 2% of its gross domestic product on defense by 2024.
The ministry said last year when it opened talks on the Rafael deal that it planned to buy four batteries, each including its own radar, command and control unit.
The system — used to protect cities, nuclear power plants and other potential targets — will be supplied by 2026, it said.
This is the latest in a series of arms deals between Israel and Eastern European nations after Slovakia agreed in April to purchase 17 Israeli-made radar systems for NIS 500 million ($155 million) as part of a defense export agreement with Jerusalem.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz then said the move was "evidence of the deepening cooperation with NATO countries."