The Army of the Czech Republic (Czech: Armáda České republiky, AČR), also known as the Czech Army or Czech Armed Forces, is the military service responsible for the defence of the Czech Republic in compliance with international obligations and treaties on collective defence. It is also set to support peacekeeping, rescue and humanitarian operations both within the national territory and abroad. Armed Forces consist of the General Staff, the Land Forces, the Air Force and support units.
From the late 1940s to 1989, the extensive Czechoslovak People's Army (about 200,000) formed one of the pillars of the Warsaw Pact military alliance. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic is completing a major reorganisation and reduction of the armed forces, which intensified after the Czech Republic joined NATO on 12 March 1999.
As defined by the Czech Law No. 219/1999 Coll., the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic (Czech: ozbrojené síly České republiky) are the military forces of the Czech Republic. They consist of the Army of the Czech Republic, the Military Office of President of the Republic and the Castle Guard.
|Army of the Czech Republic|
|Armáda České republiky|
The coat of arms and roundel
|Current form||1 January 1993|
|Service branches||Czech Land Forces|
Czech Air Force
|Headquarters||Prague, Czech Republic|
|President of the Republic||Miloš Zeman|
|Prime Minister||Andrej Babiš|
|Minister of Defence||Lubomír Metnar|
|Chief of the General Staff||Aleš Opata|
|Military age||18 years|
|Conscription||Abolished in 2004|
|2,414,728, age 15–49 (2005 est.)|
|1,996,631, age 15–49 (2005 est.)|
|66,583 (men) (2005 est.)|
|Active personnel||25,105 soldiers and 7,979 civilians|
|Budget||CZK 66.7 billion / € 2.6 billion (2019)|
|Percent of GDP||1.19% (2019)|
|Ranks||Czech military ranks|
Military history of the Czech people dates back to the Middle Ages and the creation of Duchy of Bohemia and Kingdom of Bohemia. During the Hussite Wars, Jan Žižka became a military leader of such skill and eminence that the Hussite legacy became an important and lasting part of the Czech military traditions. European wars of religion once again wrecked the Czech lands, and at the Battle of White Mountain in 1620, Czech freedom was lost to the Habsburg Monarchy. Throughout the centuries of foreign rule, the Czechs were subjected, at times, to intense Germanization. Nevertheless, Czechs maintained their ethnic identity and seized the opportunity for independence during World War I. Czechs and Slovaks deserted the armies of Austria-Hungary in large numbers to form the Czechoslovak Legion.
The Czechoslovak Armed Forces were originally formed on 30 June 1918 when 6,000 members of the Czechoslovak Legion in France, which had been established in 1914, took oath and received a battle banner in Darney, France, thus preceding the official declaration of Czechoslovak independence by four months. The military achievements of the Czechoslovak legions on the French, Italian and especially Russian front became one of the main arguments that the Czechoslovak pro-independence leaders could use to gain the support for the country's independence by the Allies of World War I.
In 1938, servicemen of the Czechoslovak Army and the State Defense Guard fought in an undeclared border war against the German-backed Sudetendeutsches Freikorps as well as Polish and Hungarian paramilitary forces. As a result of the Munich Agreement, areas heavily populated by ethnic German speaking people were incorporated into the Third Reich and military aged men living there were subject to being drafted into the Wehrmacht. Following the Czechoslovakia's complete annexation in 1939 and creation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the Protectorate's government possessed its own armed force, the Government Army (6,500 men), tasked with public security and rearguard duties. On the other side of the conflict, a number of Czechoslovak units and formations served with the Polish Army (Czechoslovak Legion), the French Army, the Royal Air Force, the British Army (the 1st Czechoslovak Armoured Brigade), and the Red Army (I Corps). Four Czech and Slovak-manned RAF squadrons were transferred to Czechoslovak control in late 1945.
From 1954 until 1990, the Army was known as the Czechoslovak People's Army (ČSLA). Although the ČSLA, as formed in 1945, included both Soviet- and British-equipped/trained expatriate troops, the "Western" soldiers had been purged from the ČSLA after 1948 when the communists took power. The ČSLA offered no resistance to the invasion mounted by the Soviets in 1968 in reaction to the "Prague Spring", and was extensively reorganized by the Soviets following the re-imposition of communist rule in Prague.
Of the approximately 201,000 personnel on active duty in the ČSLA in 1987, about 145,000, or about 72 percent, served in the ground forces (commonly referred to as the army). About 100,000 of these were conscripts. There were two military districts, Western and Eastern. A 1989 listing of forces shows two Czechoslovak armies in the west, the 1st Army at Příbram with one tank division and three motor rifle divisions, the 4th Army at Písek with two tank divisions and two motor rifle divisions. In the Eastern Military District, there were two tank divisions, the 13th and 14th, with a supervisory headquarters at Trenčín in the Slovak part of the country.
During the Cold War, the ČSLA was equipped primarily with Soviet arms, although certain arms like the OT-64 SKOT armored personnel carrier, the L-29 Delfín and L-39 Albatros aircraft, the P-27 Pancéřovka antitank rocket launcher, the vz. 58 assault rifle or the Uk vz. 59 machine gun were of Czechoslovak design.
The Army of the Czech Republic was formed after the Czechoslovak Armed Forces split after the 1 January 1993 dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Czech forces stood at 90,000 in 1993. They were reduced to around 65,000 in 11 combat brigades and the Air Force in 1997, to 63,601 in 1999, and to 35,000 in 2005. At the same time, the forces were modernized and reoriented towards a defensive posture. In 2004, the army transformed itself into a fully professional organization and compulsory military service was abolished. The Army maintains an active reserve.
The Czech Republic is a member of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. At the 1999 Washington summit, the Czech Republic joined NATO. Since 1990, the ACR and the Czech Armed Forces have contributed to numerous peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, including IFOR, SFOR, and EUFOR Althea in Bosnia, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Albania, Turkey, Pakistan and with the Coalition forces in Iraq.
Current deployments (2019):
Many of the duties of the President of the Czech Republic can be said to be ceremonial to one degree or another, especially since the President has relatively few powers independent of the will of the Prime Minister. One of those is the status as commander in chief of the military; no part of these duties can take place but through the assent of the Prime Minister. In matters of war, he is in every sense merely a figurehead, since the Constitution gives all substantive constitutional authority over the use of the armed forces to the Parliament. In fact, the only specific thing the constitution allows the President to do with respect to the military is to appoint its generals – but even this must be done with the signature of the Prime Minister.
Structure of the Czech Armed Forces consists of two parts:
The 153rd Engineer Battalion based in Olomouc was created on 15 October 2008 and is subordinated to the 15th Engineer Regiment. The unit is stationed in the outskirts of the city of Olomouc, in place of the canceled 156th Rescue Battalion.
Active Reserve (in Czech Aktivní záloha) is a part of the otherwise professional Army of the Czech Republic. This service was created to allow the participation of citizens with a positive attitude to the military.
A volunteer needs either to have completed the compulsory military service (which ended in 2004) or to attend 6 week training. Then the reservists have to serve up to three weeks a year and can be called up to serve two weeks during a non-military crisis. They are not intended to serve abroad. The Reserve presents itself on events like BAHNA, a military show.
The Army of the Czech Republic is, to a large extent, using inventory dating back to the times of the Warsaw Pact. During the Cold War, Czechoslovakia was a major supplier of tanks, armoured personnel carriers, military trucks and trainer aircraft – the bulk of military exports went to its Comecon partners. Replacement of the obsolete equipment, or making it at least compliant with the NATO standards, is urgently required. Modernization plans include acquisition of new multi-role helicopters, transport aircraft, infantry fighting vehicles or air defence radars and missiles. If possible, the Czech Ministry of Defence selects products that are manufactured or co-produced in the Czech Republic. This includes firearms of the Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod, namely the CZ 75 pistols, CZ Scorpion Evo 3 submachine guns, CZ 805 BREN and BREN 2 assault rifles. Moreover, the Czech Army is equipped with about 3000 T810 and T815 vehicles of various modifications produced by the Czech Tatra Trucks company. Tatra Defence Vehicle factory ensures licensed production of Pandur II and Titus armoured vehicles. Aircraft such as the Aero L-39 Albatros, Aero L-159 Alca and Let L-410 Turbolet have been produced domestically as well.
At the beginning of 2019 Czech Ministry of Defence announced its modernization program consisting of acquiring 210 new modern IFVs as a replacement for aging BVP-2. MoD aproached four manufacturers: BAE Systems (CV90), GDELS (ASCOD), Rheinmetall (Lynx) and PSM (Puma). Cost of the program should exceed 50 billions CZK.
Different types of Czech Army uniforms:
These are the military ranks, historic and present-day, of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic and its predecessor force, the Czechoslovak Armed Forces, later known as the People's Army.
|title=at position 82 (help)
The 4th (Czech) Rapid Deployment Brigade (4. brigáda rychlého nasazení) is a brigade of the Army of the Czech Republic. It is assigned to the NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps but falls under the organizational control of 1 (UK) Armoured Division when required. Units from the brigade have deployed as part of KFOR, ISAF and EUTM Mali. The brigade consists of five battalions and is considered as spearhead of the Army of the Czech Republic. It builds the core of the 4th Brigade Task Force. Soldiers of the brigade wear red berets.
The brigade was formed in January 1994 and consists of following battalions:
41. mechanizovany prapor (41.mpr) - 41st Mechanised (Infantry) Battalion
42. mechanizovany prapor (42.mpr) - 42nd Mechanised (Infantry) Battalion
43. vysadkovy prapor (43.vpr) - 43rd Airborne Battalion
44. lehky motorizovany prapor (44.lmopr) - 44th Light Motorised Battalion (raised in 2008)
45. mechanizovany prapor (45.mpr) - 45th Mechanised (Infantry) Battalion (raised in 2016)ARMA 2
ARMA 2 is an open world, military simulation video game developed and published by Bohemia Interactive for Microsoft Windows. It is the sequel to ARMA: Armed Assault (ARMA: Combat Operations in North America), and the predecessor to ARMA 3. ARMA 2 saw a limited release in May 2009, and a wide release from June 2009 through July 2009. An expansion pack titled ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead was released in 2010. In June 2011, a free version of the game was released, featuring multiplayer and limited single-player modes. It is also considered the official successor of Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis (which has since been renamed to ARMA: Cold War Assault by Bohemia Interactive).The game had sold 2.3 million copies as of February 2015.Armed Forces of the Czech Republic
The Armed Forces of the Czech Republic (Czech: Ozbrojené síly České republiky) are the military forces of the Czech Republic. They consist of the Army of the Czech Republic (Czech: Armáda České republiky), the Military Office of the President of the Republic and the Castle Guard, as defined by the Act No. 219/1999, on the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. The current supreme commander of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic is President of the Republic Miloš Zeman.The term Armed Forces of the Czech Republic is defined by law. However, in several Czech military documents it is also used for the actual Army of the Czech Republic. For example, 2004 Doctrine of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic is called Doktrína Armády České republiky in Czech (i.e., Doctrine of the Army of the Czech Republic). Moreover, in 2011 White Paper on Defence the term armed forces is understood differently from its definition in Act No. 219/1999 and includes Land, Air, Special and Support Forces, Military Police, Military Intelligence, Military Office of the Czech President and Castle Guard. On the other hand, 2015 Security Strategy of the Czech Republic states that "[t]he armed forces, with the Army of the Czech Republic at their core, play a key role in supporting the implementation of the defence policy."BAHNA
BAHNA is a regular no-fee public presentation of the Army of the Czech Republic in military training ground Zadní Bahna near Strašice in Plzeň Region, the Czech Republic. Its purpose is to promote the armed forces, to show military technology and to remember the military traditions and historical operations. The name is uppercased to distinguish the event from the location.
Starting in 1990 the event was organized by a military history club in Volduchy as a competition between historical vehicles in an extremely rough terrain (in Czech bahno, plural bahna means the silt). The popularity of the event gradually grew up among both the public and the professional soldiers. Since 1994 BAHNA is the official Land Forces Day (Den pozemního vojska) of the Czech army.
As of 2006 BAHNA has one day to present up-to-date military equipment, professional skills and readiness of Land Forces soldiers, including members of the Active Reserve. Military history clubs engage in historical reenactments related to Czech military history (usually from WWI or WWII era). BAHNA's typically have several hundredths participants including some soldiers from the NATO countries. In recent years, about 50,000 visitors attended the event.Band of the Castle Guards and the Police of the Czech Republic
The Band of the Castle Guards and the Police of the Czech Republic (Czech: Hudba Hradní stráže a Policie České republiky) is a unit of the Police of the Czech Republic responsible for providing musical support to the Prague Castle Guard of the Army of the Czech Republic, as well as during other official ceremonies at Prague Castle such as state visits.The band's origins date to 1945 and it was officially organized within the Ministry of the Interior of Czechoslovakia in 1953. In 1990 it assumed the name "Band of the Castle Guards and the Police".Chief of the General Staff (Czech Republic)
The Chief of the General Staff (Czech: Náčelník Generálního štábu) is the highest-ranking and most senior military officer of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. He is appointed by the President of the Czech Republic, who is the commander-in-chief. The current Chief of the General Staff is Lieutenant General Aleš Opata.Czech Air Force
The Czech Air Force (Czech: Vzdušné síly Armády České republiky, literally the "Air Force of the Army of the Czech Republic"), is the air force branch of the Army of the Czech Republic. Along with the Land Forces, the Air Force is the major Czech military force. With traditions of military aviation dating back to 1918, the Czech Air Force, together with the Slovak Air Force, succeeded the Czechoslovak Air Force in 1993. On 1 July 1997, the 3rd Tactical Aviation Corps and the 4th Air Defence Corps of the Czech Army were merged to form an independent Air Force Headquarters.
The Air Force is responsible for securing the integrity of the Czech Republic's airspace through the NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NIADS), close air support to the Land Forces and for transportation tasks including government and state priority flights. In peacetime the Air Force is contributing to tasks originating in the Czech laws and interministerial agreements, for example to the air ambulance service or the SAR role.Czech JAS-39C/D Gripen multirole fighters fulfill primarily the tasks related to the air defence of the Czech Republic and the NATO within the system of NATINAMDS. In the so-called national reinforcement system the subsonic L-159 ALCA jets could be deployed to fulfil this task too. The radar surveillance of the airspace of the Czech Republic is a responsibility of the 26th Air Command, Control and Surveillance Regiment at Stará Boleslav. Altogether seven radio-technical companies are spread around the country so that they can continuously cover its whole territory.Czech Army Central Band
The Czech Army Central Band (Czech: Centrální Ústřední Hudba České Armády or Ústřední Hudba AČR) is a unit of the Czech Land Forces responsible for providing musical support to the Army of the Czech Republic and the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. Its parent organization is the Army Music Service of the Czech Armed Forces which heads all bands in the CAF. The band currently consists of 46 active musicians who are based in Olomouc. As of September 2018, the band is led by the Chief Director of Music, Gustav Foret and his deputy, Captain Richard Czuczor.Czech Land Forces
The Czech Land Forces (Czech: Pozemní síly Armády České republiky, literally the "Land Forces of the Army of the Czech Republic") is the land-based military branch of the Army of the Czech Republic. Along with the Air Force the Land Forces encompasses all the operational military units of the Czech Republic. The Land Forces primarily consist of two mechanized brigades equipped with various types of combat vehicles (such as Pandur II or BVP-2) including T-72M4CZ tanks to ensure the execution of different combat operations.Czech military ranks
Czech military ranks are divided into four main groups, depending on the position and function: Generals, Officers, Regiment officers and Soldiers.Czechoslovak Army
The Czechoslovak Army (Czech and Slovak: Československá armáda) was the name of the armed forces of Czechoslovakia. It was established in 1918 following Czechoslovakia's independence from Austria-Hungary.
Although modelled after Austro-Hungarian Army patterns, the army of the newly established state also incorporated former members of the Czechoslovak Legion fighting alongside the Entente during World War I. Czechoslovak Army took part in the brief Polish-Czechoslovak War in which Czechoslovakia annexed the Zaolzie region from Poland. In the interbellum the force was fairly modern by contemporary standards, with the core of the force formed by LT vz. 38 and LT vz. 35 tanks, as well as an extensive system of border fortifications. Mobilised during the Munich Conference, the force did not take part in any organised defence of the country against invading Germans due to international isolation of Czechoslovakia.
The army was disbanded following the German takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1939. During World War II the Czechoslovak Army was recreated in exile, first in the form of the new Czechoslovak Legion fighting alongside of Poland during the Invasion of Poland and then in the form of forces loyal to the London-based Czechoslovak government-in-exile.
After the war Czechoslovak units fighting alongside the Allies returned to Czechoslovakia and formed the core of the new, recreated Czechoslovak Army. However, with the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, it was being increasingly Sovietised and in 1954 was formally renamed to Czechoslovak People's Army. The army of Czechoslovakia returned to the former name in 1990, following the Velvet Revolution, but in 1993, following the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia, it was disbanded and split into modern Army of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Armed Forces.Czechoslovak People's Army
The Czechoslovak People's Army (Czech: Československá lidová armáda, Slovak: Československá ľudová armáda, ČSLA) was the armed forces of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC) and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic from 1954 until 1990. From 1955 it was a member force of the Warsaw Pact. On 14 March 1990 the Army's name was reverted to the Czechoslovak Army removing the adjective "People's" from the name. The Czechoslovak Army was split into the Army of the Czech Republic and the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on 1 January 1993.EL/M-2084
The ELM-2084 is an Israeli ground-based mobile 3D AESA multi-mission radar (MMR) family produced by ELTA, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries.The radar is capable of detecting and tracking both aircraft and ballistic targets and providing fire control guidance for missile interception or artillery air defense.
Several versions of the radar were purchased and are operated by a number of armies, including the Israeli Defense Forces, Canadian Army, Republic of Singapore Air Force, and the Army of the Czech Republic.Government Army (Bohemia and Moravia)
The Government Army (Czech: Vládní vojsko; German: Regierungstruppen) was the military force of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia during the time period of the German occupation of the Czech lands.
Established on July 25, 1939, the lightly armed force of less than 7,000 men was operationally limited to internal security throughout most of its existence, with the exception of a short deployment to northern Italy in support of German forces in the spring of 1944. During the Prague Uprising, some elements of the Government Army revolted and joined in the rebellion. After World War II, the inspector-general of the Government Army, Jaroslav Eminger, was tried and acquitted on charges of collaboration with Germany.Military equipment of the Czech Republic
This is a list of military equipment of the Czech Republic currently in service and in storage. This includes weapons and equipment of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, with the Army of the Czech Republic and its service branches, namely the Czech Land Forces and Czech Air Force, at their core.Prague Castle Guard
The Prague Castle Guard or simply the Castle Guard (Czech: Hradní stráž) is a specific and autonomous unit of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic directly subordinate to the Military Office of the President of the Czech Republic. Its main task is to guard and defend the seat of the President of the Czech Republic at the Prague Castle. During the period 1939 to 1945 its duties were performed by the 1st Battalion of the Government Army.Prague Garrison Command
The Prague Garrison Command (Czech: Pražské velitelství) is the primary military area command of the Army of the Czech Republic tasked for the defense and security of Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. It is currently under the leadership of Colonel Milan Virt, with Captain Eva Cajthamlova acting as its spokeswoman. The Prague Garrison Command currently bears the honorary title of Unit of Prague Uprising.Tatra 810
Tatra T 810 is a medium truck made by Czech company Tatra, which replaced in the Army of the Czech Republic popular Praga V3S, which was introduced in the 1950s and served until 2008. Unlike other Tatra trucks, it does not use the traditional Tatra conception of backbone chassis and swinging half-axles, but the customary truck architecture with conventional frame. The civilian version T 810-C was introduced in 2010.
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