Slovenia to provide its fleet of M-84 main battle tanks to Ukraine

According to information published by the German News agency DPA, Slovenia will provide M-84 main battle tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine and in exchange Germany could deliver Leopard Main Battle Tank (MBT) or Marder tracked armored IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicles).
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Slovenian M84 tanks fire on targets called in by paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade and the Hungarian soldiers during a call for fire for Exercise Adriatic Strike at Pocek Range in Postonja, Slovenia, June 4, 2015. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

Today, the German Minister of Defense has concluded an agreement with several Eastern countries including Slovenia, to provide old Soviet-made tanks and armored vehicles to Ukraine from their current military inventory and Germany will provide tanks or IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) from its own military stocks.

According to DPA, Slovenia will provide M-84 main battle tanks to Ukraine while Germany will provide Slovenia with Marder tracked armored IFVs and Fuchs 6x6 armored vehicles. Since joining NATO and the European Union in 2004, territorial defense and the ability to take part in peace-support operations have been central to Slovenia’s defense strategy. According to a White Paper published in 2020 by the Slovenian Ministry of Defense, the modernization of the Slovenian armed forces will be focused on the development capabilities of two medium battalion battle groups with the goal to form the first unit by 2027 and a second by 2030.

To achieve these objectives of the modernization of its armed forces, Slovenia would acquire modern main battle tanks and armored vehicles to replace old Soviet-made combat vehicles currently in service with the Slovenian army.

According to the Military Balance 2021, Slovenia's armed forces have a total of 14 operational M-84 main battle tanks and 32 in store. The M-84 is a Soviet-made T-72 produced under license in Yugoslavia but with many new improvements to meet the requirements of the Yugoslav Army.

The design of the M-84 is similar to the Soviet-made T-72 including three compartments with the driver position at the center front of the hull, a turret in the center, and the power pack at the rear. The tank keeps the same armament as the T-72 that including one 125mm cannon. There are minor differences in the external features of the turret, with a bank of six electrically operated 81 mm smoke grenade dischargers on either side of the turret and a meteorology sensor pole on the forward part of the turret roof. The second armament of the tank includes one 7.62mm M86 machine gun nad one 12.7mm M87 machine gun mounted on the turret roof.

The M-84 is fitted with a new fire-control system and it has better armor protection and numerous other improvements including a V-46TK V-12 diesel engine developing 1,000 hp which gives a better power-to-weight ratio than that of the T-72 and therefore superior mobility. It can run at a maximum road speed of 65 km/h with a maximum cruising range of up to 700 km.