The defense leaders took part in a ceremonial signing of the agreement today following a meeting in which they discussed their long-standing defense relationship as well as mutual security concerns, according to a defense official.
The sale, which Esper said was a “historic moment,” totals about $650 million and is the Czech Republic’s largest military purchase from the U.S. The defense secretary said it is a step forward in the Czech Republic’s replacement of Russian helicopters with NATO interoperable equipment.
This procurement supports the National Defense Strategy objectives of strengthening alliances as well as countering Russian influence, highlights consolidated gains made over the past 30 years as the Czech Republic modernizes its armed forces and demonstrates the strength of the U.S.-Czech Republic defense relationship, a defense official said.
Both leaders said the U.S. and the Czech Republic share many security interests.
“We continue to stand united as NATO allies to deter an increasingly aggressive Russia. We will also continue to work together to address the threats and challenges posed by China, especially with regard to 5G technology,” Esper said. He noted the department’s appreciation for the Czech Republic’s leadership in calling attention to the security of 5G networks in Europe.