The Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic plans to procure 228 tracked combat vehicles

 03. 08. 2021      category: Events
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According to the latest available information, it seems that the current leadership of the Slovak Ministry of Defense is enormously interested in a significant modernization of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic. In addition to taking over the first eight pieces of the Zuzana 2 howitzer and plans to acquire several hundred 8x8 armored combat vehicles, the Slovak Ministry of Defense also wants to procure new tracked combat vehicles. The ministry recently issued a separate plan for the purchase of this type of equipment for this project.

156792Picture: In March of this year, a static and dynamic presentation of the LYNX KF41 tracked armored vehicle took place for the representatives of the Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic. | Ivan Kelement / Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic

The issue of modernization of tracked combat vehicles has been addressed more intensively since March this year. At that time, the Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle was presented to representatives of the Slovak Ministry of Defense and Army leaders at the Military Technical and Testing Institute "Záhorie". In April, static and dynamic demonstrations of the ASCOD Infantry Fighting Vehicle followed, and then in the first half of June, three variants of the CV90 tracked combat vehicle were presented. The purpose of these demonstrations, as well as discussions with potential suppliers of these vehicles, was to research the market for this type of technology. The reason for the purchase of new tracked combat vehicles is, of course, the condition of the current ones, which were manufactured at the time of the Warsaw Pact. As the Chief of the Capability Development Department of the Trenčín Ground Forces Command, Colonel Roman Majerčiak, states in the Defense monthly, the current Infantry Fighting Vehicles in many respects do not meet the requirements of today's battlefield, for example in terms of ballistic and mine protection. Now the Ministry of Defense is coming up with a plan that describes in detail the process of procuring new tracked combat vehicles. The document is entitled "Intent of the project for the purchase of tracked combat vehicles".

ascod_skPicture: In April, static and dynamic demonstrations of the ASCOD Infantry Fighting Vehicle followed | Ivan Kelement / Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic

The aim of the project of acquisition of new tracked combat vehicles is to purchase in two phases a total of 228 tracked combat vehicles, which will replace the BVP-1 and BVP-2 Soviet-design Infantry Fighting Vehicles. In the first phase of the project, which is planned for 2022-2026, the Ministry of Defense proposes to buy a total of 156 tracked combat vehicles, of which 131 vehicles in the version of the Infantry Fighting Vehicle. In the second phase, which is scheduled for the period from 2027 to 2030, it is a matter of acquiring another 72 vehicles in various versions. The Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic wants to implement the acquisition of new tracked combat vehicles in the form of Government-Government agreement. The total estimated cost of the first phase of the acquisition is around 1.739 billion Euros with VAT. In the assessment of individual offers, emphasis will be placed on the total price of the vehicle, operating costs, the share of involvement of the Slovak defense industry, delivery dates, and interoperability with NATO. The turrets of new tracked combat vehicles should be equipped with a cannon caliber 30-40 mm, machine gun caliber 7.62 mm and a launcher for Anti-Tank Guided Missiles. In the Defense monthly ("Obrana") there was also information that in connection with the purchase of new tracked combat vehicles, the launchers with anti-tank missiles made by Israeli Spike are to be implemented. According to the information from the document, the Ministry of Defense would like to evaluate and even select a successful tenderer this year.

158701Picture: A month ago, the Military Technical and Testing Institute "Záhorie" in Slovakia again became the scene of dynamic demonstrations of potential new tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicles, which could replace the obsolete BVP-2, BVP-1 and BVP-M vehicles in the Slovak army | Ministry of Defense of the Slovak Republic

The acquisition of new tracked combat vehicles is also taking place in countries bordering Slovakia. Hungary, for example, chose Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicles. Under the contract with the German company Rheinmetall, a joint venture between the German company and the Hungarian government will be established in Hungary, in which most of the new Lynx IFVs will be manufactured. The Czech Republic is also striving for the modernization of tracked combat vehicles, where ASCOD 2, Lynx KF41 and CV90 vehicles are competing in the tender. However, the project of acquiring new IFVs in the Czech Republic was significantly delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it is clear that the contract will not be signed this year.

 Author: Mgr. Otto Dóka

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