Any discussion about the combat readiness of the Czech Armed Forces’ military equipment will sooner or later have to deal with one major problem: a long-term lack of funds for routine maintenance. When I was Chief of the General Staff, my dearest wish was to have all 107 Pandur infantry fighting vehicles in a combat-ready state. But the reality was completely different.
Taking care of military equipment under these conditions is, as we used to say, more of a firefighting job. Having solved one financial problem, we immediately had to put out another fire. This did not only concern infantry fighting vehicles, but also artillery, air support equipment and more. And this went on over and over again…
In my opinion, the long-term deep under-funding of the Ministry of Defence will not be resolved in a short time. There is still a long way to go.
The eagerly anticipated modernization of the army, which is now being gradually implemented, will put significant demands on keeping the new and modern technical equipment operational – and I am not only referring to the funds assigned for its normal operation in peaceful conditions. We also must consider that in the event of any combat deployment, there will be losses and damages resulting in the loss of the whole unit´s combat value. Do we have the necessary funds, production capacity and repair capacity? And is our legislation ready to cover combat equipment repairs and replenishment if the equipment is destroyed in combat?