Acknowledging Slovakia’s special relationship with the Czech Republic and the readiness of both countries to deliver key modernisation programmes together, Slovak defence minister Jaroslav Naď said: “The Czech Republic, just as the Slovak Republic, has been addressing the need for replacement of its obsolete BVP-1 and BVP-2 IFVs for new tracked armoured fighting vehicles that are compliant with NATO standards, as are with the operational requirements of todayʼs battlefield for firepower, mobility and crew protection. Slovakia has made progress in its negotiations with the vehicle manufacturer and the Czech Republic will join this process.”
He went on to clarify: “This type of cooperation to procure and operate the military vehicles will lead to enhanced coordination, combat capabilities and value for money. Even though both countries will closely coordinate their steps, the procurement processes will go ahead separately in each country in line with respective legislation.”
On the CV90 MkIVs, both countries will collaborate to support each other in the operation of the vehicles, the provision of training & exercises, and the delivery of spare parts and munitions. This will generate savings in overall costs on both sides. “Last but not least, we will also exchange our experiences in using the tracked IFVs,” Naď concluded.
Czech defence minister Jana Černochová said: “We agreed this was the best way ahead for both countries. Given the benefit in the form of lower prices and the fact that more such vehicles will be in the region, we can join forces in contracting companies to deliver maintenance & repair services for the vehicles and to produce spare parts, so we can work together to implement the programme. That all comes part and parcel within our agreement. What matters to our country is not only the number of vehicles, but also the price, the speed of delivery, and local industrial content.”
The SVK Government, on the recommendation from the Defence Minister, approved the procurement of 152 CV90 MkIV tracked infantry fighting vehicles, fitted with the turret-mounted 35mm cannon, through a Government-to-Government (G2G) agreement with the Kingdom of Sweden at the end of June 2022. The CV90 MkIVs will replace the SVK Army’s fleet of half-a-century-old tracked IFV vehicles. Along with the Patria 8×8 wheeled AFVs, they are the key to delivering Slovakia’s protection and defence and a significant step forward in the standup of the Heavy Mechanised Brigade – the biggest commitment Slovakia has ever made to NATO under the NATO Capability Targets.
The prime subcontractor for the Slovak Tracked Armoured Capability Programme will be ZTS – ŠPECIÁL. Dozens of Slovak state-owned companies and private businesses will support the programme in the long term.