CASA planes fully operational

The army’s CASA transport planes have successfully passed all flight tests and may now be deployed in foreign missions, Czech Defense Minister Vlastimil Picek told journalists in Prague on Monday. The 3.5 billion crowns purchase of four Spanish CASA transport planes in 2009 has been dogged by problems. The planes’ passive protection system against missiles was found to be defective, failing 7 out of 17 tests and an independent auditor later concluded the purchase had been overpriced. After two years of repairs, fresh tests have now shown that the planes’ protection system is fully operational and the planes’ Spanish supplier is paying the defense ministry 20 million crowns in compensation for the problems.