According to a statement from the Slovak Ministry of Defence, the process of defining the requirements for the new air defence systems has already been completed, and market research has begun to identify the best solutions. The ministry emphasized that this process will be lengthy and detailed. Slovakia has allocated EUR 200 million for this goal.
“Surface Based Air Defence is one of the key capabilities to secure Slovakiaʼs own defences. We have perceived the need for our own complex and advanced SBAD capability in the long run. At the end of the process, it will be an Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) system with many digitally networked platforms, which will, of course, allow full compatibility with the Allianceʼs capabilities and will be ready to protect European and NATO airspace,” said Slovak Minister of Defence Martin Sklenár.
The Slovak Ministry of Defence has also announced that it has issued requests for proposals to 11 countries, which are potential suppliers of solutions for the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic. They have until the end of July 2023 to respond.
It is also known that Slovakia plans to acquire a small number of air defence systems. According to the ministry’s statement, this includes 12 MANPADS launchers as well as one mobile system (the ministry did not specify whether it refers to a battery or a fire unit) for medium-range air defence.
“Overall, of course, the priority is to deliver high quality and high efficiency [technologies] to suit the requirements of the Armed Forces and other subject matter experts, as well as ensuring transparency and promotion of bilateral cooperation, which should be guaranteed by a government-to-government (G2G) agreement,” said Slovak Minister of Defence.
It is worth noting that in October 2022, Slovakia joined the German-initiated European Sky Shield Initiative, which aims to build an integrated pan-European air and missile defece system. The program involves acquiring air defense systems of various classes, with the German-produced IRIS-T SLM being indicated as the preferred medium-range system.