Israel to sell air defense systems to Czech Republic

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JERUSALEM, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Israel has agreed to sell air defense systems to the Czech Republic in a deal worth $520 million, Israel's Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

The deal is for four SPYDER batteries, which is a defense system based on air-to-air missiles and is designed to intercept airborne threats including planes, helicopters and drones. The SPYDERs will be produced by Israeli defense firm RAFAEL.

"This is the first time that Israel will deliver a full air defense system to a NATO country," said Amir Eshel, director-general of Israel's Defense Ministry.

Lubomir Metnar, the Czech Minister of Defense, said the deal "will push our armed forces to the 21st century in the air defense domain."

Czech defense industries will also be involved in carrying out the agreement, the ministry said.

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Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Editing by Steven Scheer

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