PRAGUE, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The government of the Czech Republic on Wednesday approved a plan to purchase 246 CV90 infantry fighting vehicles from Sweden.
The country's Ministry of Defense said in a statement that the deal worth 59.7 billion Czech crowns (2.71 billion U.S. dollars) will also include 29 workshop vehicles and spare parts.
Initially, the Czech Republic had planned to acquire 210 units of CV90 combat vehicles, with a possible option for an additional 36 units in the future. However, it decided to purchase all 246 units due to "rising prices of combat equipment," according to the ministry.
The deal also includes a commitment from Sweden that the Czech defense industry's contribution to the production will reach at least 40 percent of the contract's value, it said.
The Czech News Agency has called the deal "the largest army purchase in the modern history of the Czech Republic and one of the largest state orders ever."
According to Czech defense minister, the first vehicles could be delivered in 2026, and by 2030 all should be delivered.
In another statement issued on Wednesday, the ministry said the country will also start talks with Germany on the joint purchase of around 70 Leopard 2A8 tanks.
Last year, the Czech government said the country's defense spending could reach 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2024, a year earlier than previously planned.