Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Slovakia inks arms deal with Finland for AMVxp 8×8 vehicles

Slovakia and Finland with Patria have signed a comprehensive government-to-government (G2G) agreement to purchase 76 armored combat vehicles (ACV) from Patria.

By signing the agreement between the Government of the Slovak Republic and the Government of the Republic of Finland on the Acquisition of the Patria 8×8 Armoured Modular Vehicles (AMV) XP, they have confirmed Slovakia’s purchase of 76 Patria 8×8 AMV XPs in the Slovak Turra-30 turret configuration with the 30mm GTS-30/A cannon.

Apart from the signing of the G2G Agreement, the signing of another two related contracts – a contract between the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic and Patria as well as a contract between KONŠTRUKTA-Defence (a 100% state-owned JSC under the remit of the SVK MOD) and Patria – took place as the culmination of a series of meetings between experts.

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Looking at the SVK defense industry’s stake in the project, this unique and historical success has no parallel in Slovakia, Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď underlined, saying: “We will not only meet the 40% level of Slovak defense industry content, but we will even exceed this limit – already today I can confirm a nearly 43% stake, yet this may not be the final figure. The Slovak side will have one prime contractor – KONŠTRUKTA-Defence and six main subcontractors. Altogether, over 40 Slovak defense companies will be involved in and benefit from the project.”

Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen said: “The war in Ukraine has given us a number of lessons learned. Among others, it has shown how important interoperability across partners is. Also thanks to this, we will give our armed forces the ability to cooperate. We will do all it takes to deliver the vehicles on time, so that Slovakia gets the much needed capabilities. I hope this project will be a springboard for our future cooperation.” Minister Kaikkonen confirmed that KONŠTRUKTA-Defence along with many other Slovak companies will be part of the project, whereas Finland is ready to transfer its know-how and technologies to enable them to manufacture the vehicles in Slovakia.

The head of the MOD pointed to the differences between the current and previous contract to purchase the 8×8 armoured fighting platforms. “The current price per vehicle is €4.675m, which means delivering €100 000 of savings against the cost of one vehicle quoted by the previous government. Given the time and inflation rate, this a tremendous success. Pluses include a more advanced cannon that is fully in line with NATO standards, in-built communication and information (CIS) systems, an integrated command and control (C2) system, an improvised explosive device (IED) jammer, and construction design improvements to give the vehicle an improved swimming capability. Also worth mentioning are the 5th Generation electrical circuits and digital instruments. Last but not least, Slovakiaʼs Turra turret will be more advanced, lighter and of better quality, too,” Minister Naď explained.

Under the G2G Agreement, the Ministry of Defence is slated to take delivery of its first of a total of 76 Patria AMV XPs as early as September 2023. The first eight Patria AMV XPs will be made in Finland, so that employees of the SVK companies involved can learn everything they need to know for the production of the vehicles. The rest of the platforms will be manufactured completely by SVK companies, with the first Slovak-made AMV XP expected to roll out of the assembly line in 2024 and the last one in 2027.

During their bilateral meeting, Ministers Naď and Kaikkonen spoke, among others, about future SVK-FIN defence cooperation, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and Finland’s progress in its accession process to the North Atlantic Alliance.

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Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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