Evaluating Potential Prospects for Military-Technical Cooperation Between Armenia and the Czech Republic

Evaluating Potential Prospects for Military-Technical Cooperation Between Armenia and the Czech Republic



Military ties between Armenia and the Czech Republic can be traced back to 2010, when the Czech Defense Minister and a delegation of Czech businessmen made their first visit to Armenia. This visit led to the signing of an agreement on military cooperation, marking the start of this partnership.


The Armenian leadership hailed this agreement as “historic” because it legally established cooperation in defense. It covered a wide range of areas, including expert consultation, museum cooperation, and military cooperation. This collaboration includes peacekeeping missions, military education, military medicine, and the start of partnership in the military-industrial sector.


The Czech Republic also expressed its willingness to train Armenian military personnel.


However, it's important to note that after the agreement was signed, no tangible actions were taken in the military-industrial sector or other critical areas.


In the summer of 2016, the Armenian and Czech Republic Ministries of Defense held a meeting where they considered drafting a new military cooperation agreement. The discussion also involved facilitating collaboration among Armenian and Czech defense enterprises. The possibility of establishing a working group within the commission on military cooperation was also considered.

It can be deduced that the 2010 military cooperation agreement had not produced significant results, prompting the need for a new one.

In April 2019, the Czech Republic’s Minister of Defense visited Yerevan, resulting in a fresh military cooperation agreement. Yet, the agreement, titled "On military-technical cooperation between the government of the Republic of Armenia and the government of the Czech Republic," was not ratified by parliament until September 2023.


During the document’s presentation prior to its ratification, it was highlighted that the areas of cooperation included a wide range of activities. These activities encompassed production, import, export, licensing, and quality control for military products. The agreement also included training of specialists and technical personnel and support for organizations in the military-industrial sector. Moreover, it facilitated the exchange and storage of relevant information between the two countries.


After the Armenian Parliament ratified the document on April 22, 2024, a delegation headed by Radka Konderlova, Director General of the Industrial Cooperation Agency of the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Defense, visited Armenia. This delegation also included representatives from Czech military-industrial companies.

The Armenian Ministry of Defense stated that the meeting led to several agreements, although they did not disclose specific details about these agreements' nature and scope.


During the Communist era, Czechoslovakia was one of the top ten global arms exporters.  However, Prague's arms exports significantly declined in the 1990s, despite a substantial portion of the Czech defense industry remaining intact.


In 2023, the Czech Republic's weapons and military equipment exports totaled 1.2 billion euros, highlighting its significant role in the global arms market.


Czech military-industrial complex firms have faced international scandals. One notable instance occurred in 2017 and 2018, when the Czechoslovak Group holding covertly delivered weapons to Azerbaijan. These arms included the 152-mm vz.77 Dana self-propelled artillery mount and 122-mm RM-70 Vampir multiple launch rocket system. Remarkably, these deliveries supposedly occurred without the knowledge or authorization of Czech authorities. 


Furthermore, the import of these weapons to Baku occurred via Israel, in violation of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Specifically, in 1992, PACE had urged members of the Council of Europe not to supply weapons to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.


Armenia's interest in the military-industrial complex of the Czech Republic is well-founded.


The Czech Republic boasts a strong manufacturing base, and it is particularly adept at repairing and modernizing Soviet-era weaponry and military equipment using state-of-the-art technologies. Moreover, the country produces a wide range of arms and ammunition.


This includes light small arms, anti-tank grenade launchers, light mortars, self-propelled howitzers of 152 and 155 mm caliber, multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), electronic warfare and reconnaissance systems, as well as small arms and artillery ammunition of various calibers.


Armenia stands to benefit from everything that is produced in the Czech Republic, ranging from CZ light weapons to electric and turbojet engines for UAVs. This extends to Czech solutions for modernizing armored vehicles like the T-72 SCARAB tank. Armenia would also find value in the Czech Republic’s artillery systems, including self-propelled howitzers of 152 and 155 mm caliber, as well as MLRSs using 122 mm ammunition, such as the BM-21 MT 4x4 variant.


The Vera NG electronic reconnaissance systems and the STARKOM electronic warfare systems, recently introduced into service by the Czech army, are particularly significant.

To enhance its combat readiness, Armenia is also pursuing cooperation with other states.

It's crucial to ensure that this latest defense agreement doesn't fail like its predecessor, moving beyond rhetoric to tangible outcomes.


Eduard Arakelyan