The Slovak Ministry of Defense announced on its new modernization program that emphasizes the replacement of its Infantry Fighting Vehicle fleet. Currently, the Slovak Armed Forces operate on the post-soviet BMP-1 and BMP-2 IFVs. The Slovak military are seeking the most cost-optimized solution and the best quality product they can obtain on the market.
This month Rheinmetall AG undertook trials of its KF41 Lynx IFV on the VTSU testing grounds in Zahorie, Slovakia. The Lynx has been proposed to a number of European states, including Czechia, Hungary, and Italy. As yet only the Hungarians have been interested in purchasing the German IFV. Rheinmetall decided to participate in the Slovakian tender for the IFV fleet replacement.
Jaroslav Naď , the Minister of Defence of the Slovak Republic, said:
“Tracked armoured fighting vehicles should be at the core of our future Heavy Infantry Brigade, the stand-up of which represents one of our fundamental commitments towards NATO Allies in the field of introducing high quality improvements in our Armed Forces. We approach this and all other commitments with utmost responsibility – our aim is to select and procure fully compliant, advanced and reliable armoured fighting vehicles, with SVK firms expected to take on an active role in this programme.”
In order to replace all of the old IFVs within the Heavy Infantry Brigade of the Slovakian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defence would require around 200 new vehicles. The entire cost of the modernization may be as high as 1.5 billion Euros. This is a huge part of the Slovak defense budget that will be spread into payment tranches for the much-required new equipment.