Czech Republic sends tender offer for Pandur II armoured vehicle to Slovakia

 04. 01. 2022      category: Events
Přidat na Seznam.cz

The Slovak Ministry of Defence said yesterday that it had received bids from five countries, including the Czech Republic, in its upcoming purchase of 8x8 wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles for its Army, which has offered a Pandur II armoured vehicle manufactured by Tatra Defence Vehicle (TDV), a subsidiary of the Czechoslovak Group (CSG). Slovakia wants to buy the armoured vehicle through a government-to-government (G2G) agreement.

The Czech Republic sent the offer to Slovakia through the Ministry of Defence and the Agency for Intergovernmental Defence Cooperation (AMOS). This agency, within its remit, provides government support to Czech defence and security industry entities in the sale of military equipment on an intergovernmental level.

Andrej Čírtek, CSG spokesman, also commented on the above-mentioned: "We highly appreciate the fact that we can cooperate on the first project where the Czech Republic is offering strategic defence technology to another country in the G2G (intergovernmental cooperation) mode, which, among other things, meets the requirement for long-term cooperation to ensure a common security space within the EU security policy."

corsacPicture: Slovakia's defence ministry said yesterday that it had received bids from five countries in the upcoming purchase of 8x8 wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles for its Army, including the Czech Republic, which offered a Pandur II armoured vehicle | Tatra Defence Vehicle / CC BY-NC-ND

In total, five countries - the Czech Republic, Finland, Romania, Spain and the United States - have sent their offers. Some of the bids include several possible technical solutions for the contract. One of the factors that will be addressed in the overall evaluation of the bids is, of course, the price offered. This will have a 35% weighting in the evaluation of the bids.

Another factor that the Slovak Ministry of Defence will take into account when selecting the new 8x8 Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) will be the involvement of the domestic defence industry. As the Czech company Tatra Defence Vehicle has a licence for the production of Pandur II 8x8 vehicles, the involvement of Slovak companies would significantly contribute to the deepening of defence cooperation between the two countries. There would also be an opportunity for a large involvement of the domestic industry. For example, Tatra Defence Slovakia declared at its inauguration earlier this summer that it would seek to transfer the production of chassis and subsequently complete vehicles for the forces to Slovakia. At the same time, looking at some of the required versions of the new 8x8 vehicles, which are for example versions for electronic warfare or air defence, Czech and Slovak companies can jointly develop new turrets and equipment for these versions of the vehicles and thus come up with an interesting export item. This would bring even greater involvement of Slovak companies in the Pandur II 8x8 project and therefore greater benefits to the Slovak economy. 

In general, the Pandur II 8x8 AFV has the potential to be at least shortlisted in the Slovak tender for new Armoured Fighting Vehicles. Of course, other factors such as operating costs or delivery dates will also play a role, which may determine where the Pandur II will be placed in the Slovak tender.

The acquisition of the new 8x8 Armoured Fighting Vehicles was also sought by the previous leadership of the Slovak Ministry of Defence, led by the now former minister Petr Gajdoš. In 2017, the purchase of 81 vehicles was approved by the Security Council of the Slovak Republic. The winning vehicle at that time was the Patria AMV combat vehicle. Several vehicles participated in the tender, including a Pandur II 8x8 vehicle. The Pandur II 8x8 vehicle was offered in a modified version in this tender under the name Corsac 8x8 and was first presented at the IDEB 2016 by the Slovak company MSM Group, which subsequently offered it in that tender to the MoD as well. Several factors may have contributed to the failure of the Pandur II 8x8 or Corsac 8x8. 

In terms of technical parameters, the Pandur II did not meet the required level of ballistic protection, as the ballistic protection of the then offered Pandur II armoured fighting vehicle was at level 1 according to STANAG 4569, while the MoD required at least level 3 according to this standard. In any case, the Pandur II vehicle has undergone some development since the 2017 tender, and both foreign orders and the fulfilment of the order for 20 Pandur II special vehicles in KOVS (communications) and KOVVŠ (command and staff) versions for the Czech Army prove that it was a development for the better. Apart from the lack of ballistic protection, the price of the vehicle may have been a problem. According to the information provided in a document by the Value for Money Unit of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, which evaluated the project for the acquisition of 8x8 and 4x4 vehicles, the price per Pandur II vehicle ranged from EUR 5 to 5.5 million. The price per Patria AMV was EUR 4 million. The Boxer armoured fighting vehicle, for example, failed, according to the evaluation of the Value for Money Unit, partly because of its high price of EUR 5.4 million per unit.

In the first phase of the current tender, Slovakia expects to purchase 76 armoured vehicles with an estimated value of over 332 million euros (8.25 billion crowns). Later, it plans to gradually buy more than 400 more vehicles. The evaluation of the bids and recommendations on the selection of specific vehicles should be known by the end of March.

 Author: Otto Dóka