Slovakia will purchase 76 eight-wheeled military vehicles from Finland.
The cabinet approved the proposal of the Defence Ministry, based on an evaluation of a public procurement, in which the Patria AMVXP vehicle received the best score. Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) said that this is one of the main modernisation projects planned by the current management of the ministry, as reported by the SITA newswire.
The ministry now has time until September 30 to conclude the respective agreements.
The purchase, which includes the vehicles and ammunition, is worth €447 million. The sum will be paid out gradually.
The first vehicles are expected to arrive within eight months after the contract is signed, the TASR newswire reported.
Slovak businesses to be involved
Altogether five bidders attended the procurement. Apart from Finland, the bids were submitted by the United States, Spain, the Czech Republic and Romania.
During the evaluation process, the ministry took complex economic and technical parameters into account. The Finnish offer best met the requirements of the Slovak Armed Forces, according to the ministry.
“One advantage of this vehicle is that in the past, the chassis was developed in cooperation with the Armed Forces, and many specific requirements were included in the offered version of the vehicle,” the ministry said, as quoted by SITA.
Naď noted that Slovak defence industry should be involved in the project as well.
“A Slovak company will supply the vehicles with a cannon, a tower, communication and information system, as well as ammunition, and will carry out the welding and finalisation of the vehicle, i.e. everything except for the chassis,” he said, as quoted by TASR.
By involving the Slovak industries at the local level, the Patria company expects to create new jobs, either right at the partner companies or at suppliers and sub-suppliers, it wrote in a statement.