Slovak soldiers may soon use new armoured vehicles. The Defence Ministry wants to purchase 81, 8x8 wheeled military vehicles and another 404, 4x4 light armoured cars or tactical vehicles in the following years.
This stems from the ministry’s project approved by the government at its May 17 session, the TASR newswire reported.
The Defence Ministry expects to pay some €417 million for the 8x8 wheel vehicles, and a further €782.7 million for the 4x4 wheel cars. The total price will amount to nearly €1.2 billion, including the costs for logistics support, ammunition and infrastructure.
The ministry claims that the army currently lacks this kind of transport which is considered an important part of the NATO member states’ military groups and units. The lifespan of the current technology used by the Slovak army is close to expiration, according to TASR.
“They can be used for many purposes as these are wheeled vehicles designed for fast transfer,” Jaroslav Naď of the Slovak Security Policy Institute told the Sme daily.
The ministry will now analyse ways to procure the vehicles. It predicts however, that the government will approve financial coverage for the project and the procurement procedure this year in any case.
Moreover, the plan is to assess the bids and sign an agreement with the winner during this year.
While the production of first verification series will start in 2017, the serial production and the supplies are scheduled for the years 2018-2029. The first 10 armoured 8x8 vehicles and the first seven 4x4 vehicles are expected to be delivered next year, TASR reported.
There are several ways that the vehicles may be obtained. One of the most probable scenarios, according to Naď, is to come to an agreement with another country without competition. The reason is that the government plans to procure the vehicles by the end of this year and start purchasing them in 2018. This however cannot be done via the ordinary procurement process, he explained to Sme.
The law enables the deliveries of military technology without competition, according to the daily.
For now, it is not clear what type of vehicle the army will purchase but indications are that the producers should be able to involve Slovak companies in the project, Sme wrote.
The daily reported that several Slovak firms have already showed their interest in the order.
17. May 2017 at 22:04 | Compiled by Spectator staff