Slovakia received the Zuzana 2 self-propelled howitzers. The Czech Armed Forces are still waiting for new howitzers
These days, the Slovak Army is getting the new Zuzana 2 self-propelled howitzer, based on the proven ShKH vz. 77 DANA type, which is still used by the Army of the Czech Republic. The new Zuzana 2 howitzers are already in caliber according to NATO standards, ie 155 mm. Zuzana 2 also competed in a tender for new self-propelled howitzers for the Czech Armed Forces, where French CAESAR howitzers were eventually given priority, mainly due to the price and a wider variety of certified ammunition. Surveys from 2015, 2017 and a feasibility study from 2019 assessed a total of 8 modern systems from various manufacturers. The comparison of the required parameters showed that the best option for the modernization of the Czech artillery was just the already mentioned CAESAR 8 × 8 self-propelled gun from the French company Nexter.
Members of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic received the first eight new 155 mm Zuzana 2 self-propelled howitzers in the premises of the 11th Mechanized Battalion in Martin.
The new self-propelled cannon howitzers will be part of the integrated artillery fire system of the Slovak Armed Forces, usable in a wide range of operations in favor of mechanized and motorized battalions with the ability to deploy on their own territory, as well as NATO and EU operations. The aim of the project is to acquire a total of 25 pieces of 155 mm ShKH Zuzana 2 together with accessories, a simulator, sets of spare parts, as well as the acquisition of ammunition.
"Modern and reliable technology is a necessary prerequisite for quality performance of the tasks of our armed forces, on which the security and defense of our country depends, and within the possible deployment abroad also collective security of the wider Allied community. Completion of the project in the stabilization of the state of technology of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic and security as such," the Minister of Defense of the Slovak Republic Jaroslav Naď emphasized. He added that another 16 howitzers will be delivered continuously by the end of 2021 and by the end of next year the remaining 9 155 mm ShKH Zuzana 2 will come.
Commander of the Strategic Crisis Management Center of the General Staff of the Slovak Armed Forces brigadier general Tibor Králík, on the occasion of the takeover of the new howitzers, emphasized their importance for the ground forces: "Other conflicts in the near and far geopolitical space confirm the validity of classical artillery in the composition of these units. Its modern self-propelled form, including the necessary support systems, is a condition for the successful operation of the current ground forces on the modern battlefield," he said.
The Army of the Czech Republic is still waiting for new self-propelled howitzers
Our artillerymen are still waiting for new self-propelled howitzers, and Nexter's offer with the CAESAR howitzer is becoming more expensive. The Czech Army is now negotiating the final price with the manufacturer. Once again, it turns out that several years of waiting quite logically makes orders significantly more expensive. The Army of the Czech Republic urgently needs new self-propelled howitzers, so let's hope that the whole matter will be resolved as soon as possible.
Source: Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic