The Slovak Ministry of Defense has confirmed the country supplied its BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine to support the fight against Russia.
According to a press release, Slovakia has recently handed the last batch of the 30 tracked BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles over to Ukraine under an equipment exchange program between the Slovak Ministry of Defense and the German Federal Ministry of Defense.
The BVP-1 is a local version of a Soviet-made light combat amphibious tracked vehicle (known also under the acronym BMP).
The first one of the 15 Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), which Germany has promised to supply in order to bolster Slovakia’s defenses, is set to arrive as early as this December.
On this occasion, Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď said: “Subsequently, we will receive delivery of one or two MBTs every month throughout 2023 until all of the 15 MBTs have been brought into operational service in Slovakia. These tanks will considerably reinforce our Tank Battalion as we follow through on our commitment to stand up the Heavy Mechanised Brigade under our NATO Capability Targets.”
Jaroslav Naď added that this cooperation is beneficial to all the parties involved, saying: “My thanks go out to Germany for the excellent cooperation we have had in the field of defence at the bilateral level.”
Once overhauled and upgraded, the Leopard 2A4 MBTs will be delivered into service with the SVK Army along with an initial tank package of ammunition, spare parts, and logistics support. As well as this, SVK military personnel will get trained on the tank by the Bundeswehr.
Thanks to this gift from Germany, Slovakia will strengthen its Tank Battalion by 50%. The current number of T-72s in the SVK Army is neither sufficient nor meets the Alliance’s minimum armoured capability requirements. The standup of the Heavy Mechanised Brigade is one of Slovakia’s key commitments vis-à-vis the Alliance.
Worldwide, Leopard MBTs are operated by 18 countries. For example, Poland and Hungary, while Czechia is soon to follow. This will simplify regional collaboration on logistics support and upgrades to the Leopard MBTs.