Slovakia handed over the latest batch of 30 BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles (IFV), which Bratislava had promised in the Summer to deliver to Kyiv, Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad' said.
In return, Germany will send 15 Leopard 2A4 tanks to Slovakia. The first vehicle is to arrive in Slovakia in December, while more tanks will be transferred on a basis of one or two per month until Berlin fulfils the commitment. An agreement detailing the process of sending BMP-1s to Ukraine in exchange for the tanks was signed by the Slovak and German Defence Ministries in mid-November.
Deliveries from Germany will also include spare parts and ammunition. The Germans will also ensure training for Slovak soldiers.
As minister Nad’ put it, the German tanks will buttress a Slovak tank battalion armed with post-Soviet T-72s. The minister recalled that Slovakia vowed to create a heavily-armed brigade within the NATO framework. The force will consist of, among others the Leopard 2A4s, which are also already in use or are to be delivered to Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Older BMP-1s, which have already been given to Ukraine, were not in use by the Slovak army. Instead, they were part of their mobilisation reserves. This year, Slovakia decided to buy new Finland-produced 8×8 multi-role military Patria AMVXP vehicles and fresh Swedish tracked combat CV90 vehicles.
Ever Since Russia launched the invasion of Ukraine, Slovakia has gifted ammunition, S-300 missile systems and five helicopters. Both countries struck a trade deal under which Ukraine purchased eight Zuzana 2 howitzers.
Producing 16 additional Slovak howitzers for Ukraine will be financed by Germany, Denmark and Norway.