DEFENCE Minister Martin Glváč plans to close a deal over purchasing new assault rifles and pistols without competition, the Sme daily reported in its November 19 issue. He will buy them from the Česká Zbrojovka Uherský Brod company which has already supplied weapons to the Czech army, based on the existing agreement, the TASR newswire wrote.
“It is the deciding [factor] for us to unify the arms with the Czech army with which we are preparing common units,” Glváč said, as quoted by Sme.
The daily reminded that the representatives of the Slovak Defence Ministry signed an agreement with their Czech counterparts during the summer, based on which both countries will unify their arms. It was symbolically signed at the new premises of Česká Zbrojovka which was opened in the complex of the Vojenský Opravárenský Podnik in Nováky where it plans to employ up to 200 people, as reported by Sme.
The ministry specifically wants to buy the assault rifle type Bren and pistol type CZ-75 Phantom. Though the details have not been agreed upon yet, Sme wrote that Slovakia should buy at least 600 pieces of each type. The agreement will allegedly be worth €1.6 million.
The ministry hopes to close the deal in the upcoming weeks. According to TASR, the new weapons will be delivered by the end of 2014.
“Next year we already plan to start trainings with new weapons,” Chief of the General Staff of the Slovak Republic Milan Maxim told Sme.
The new weapons should substitute the rifles type 58 and pistols coming from the era of the Czechoslovak People’s Army. Though the agreement will concern only several hundred units of the weapons, it will have a significant meaning for both Slovakia and the Česká Zbrojovka company, as the firm will become one of the main suppliers of the ministry which will probably re-arm most of the Slovak army, Sme wrote.
The Slovak armed forces, according to the daily, are too small to get weapons from two different suppliers. The only exception may be special units or military police which usually have different requirements, as reported by Sme.
Regarding the new contract, the Defence Ministry said that the new weapons will go to the members of the new battalion that will serve in the international missions. The ministry said it does not want to do a flat rearmament of the Slovak army, TASR wrote.
“We need arms unified with our NATO partners; the Czech army is the closest to us,” Glváč told Sme.
Source: Sme, TASR
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
19. Nov 2014 at 14:00