The Czech Republic's Ministry of Industry and Trade has revoked a licence under which local company Omnipol could have exported six advanced Vera-E surveillance radars to China under a deal worth Ckr1.5 billion ($57 million).
The radar's manufacturer ERA is pinning its hopes on a sale to the US Department of Defence, which has sent an official to Prague to discuss a contract with another Czech supplier for the supply of several Vera systems before the end of this year. If concluded, this would provide at least partial compensation for the lost business with Beijing for the Vera system, which is claimed to be able to detect stealthy aircraft such as the USAir Force's Lockheed Martin F-117A Nighthawk from hundreds of kilometres.
The USA, which protested against the proposed sale to China, is interested in acquiring the systems for use during trials involving its own technology.
The Czech Republic's arms manufacturers have criticised the government decision, arguing that defence contractors in countries including the UKhave previously sold fighter aircraft radars to China.
Source: Flight International