December 11th, 2007
Czech govt decides to abrogate APC contract with Steyr info
Czech govt decides to abrogate APC contract with Steyr
Prague- The Czech government has decided to abrogate its contract with the Austrian company Steyr for the supply of armoured personnel carriers (APC) to the Czech military as of December 10, Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanova told journalists.
Parkanova (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said Steyr has failed to fulfil its commitments ensuing from the contract. "The solution may look very radical at first sight, but we're convinced that it is correct," Parkanova said at a press conference. The cabinet decided on the contract's abrogation last week, on the Defence Ministry's proposal.
The ministry officials who attended the conference said they do not expect the government's decision to provoke an arbitration dispute between the Czech Republic and Steyr. They said it is rather Steyr who might face sanctions.
Steyr was originally supposed to supply the first 17 APCs Pandur to the Czech military by the end of November, but the supply got delayed.
Another round of tests that was to show whether Steyr had removed certain defects that were previously uncovered in the Pandurs, was to take place in March 2008.
Steyr, however, has already produced the promised 17 Pandurs, which are now placed in its headquarters in Vienna.
The Czech military previously said it was to take the APCs over in mid-2008.
The ministry said several weeks ago that in the previous tests the Pandurs failed to meet 24 criteria of the total 93. Steyr was expected to remove the shortcomings.
The APCs purchase ranks among the biggest orders in the Czech military's history. Steyr was to supply 199 of them to the Czech Republic. The contract worth 20.8 billion crowns was signed by the then Defence Minister Karel Kuehnl (Freedom Union-DEU) shortly after the mid-2006 general election in which the Freedom Union-DEU was ousted from the Chamber of Deputies.
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