Slovakia plans to acquire new tracked IFVs and main battle tanks
The Slovak Ministry of Defense plans to acquire new tracked IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) and main battle tanks. The priority is the replacement of old BVP-1 and BVP-2 tracked IFVs, a Soviet-made BMP-1 and BMP-2 produced under license in Czechoslovakia.
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T-72M main battle tank of Slovakia. (Picture source Pinterest)
Slovakia has the goal to acquire a total of 164 tracked combat vehicles in seven variants including IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle), command post, reconnaissance, artillery observation, engineer, and recovery. The acquisition of new IFVs could be followed by the procurement of 49 main battle tanks to replace the old Soviet-made T-72M, with the first delivery in 2023.
According to the military balance 2020, Slovakia has a total 148 BVP-1, 91 BVP-2, and 30 T-72M.
In March 2021, the German company Rheinmetall has already made a demonstration with its KF-41 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) at the Military Technical and Testing Institute (VTSÚ) Záhorie were Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď, Deputy Defence Minister Marian Majer, Chief of Defence Gen Daniel Zmeko and representatives of the SVK Defence Industry.
The BVP-1 is similar to the Soviet-made BMP-1 tracked IFV which is fitted with a one-man turret armed with 73mm cannon and one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. A launcher for the 9K 11 Malyutka AT-3 'Sagger' wire-guided ATGW is mounted on the top of the gun.
The BVP-2 has the same design and armament as the Russian-made BMP-2 IFV which is equipped with a two-man turret armed with a stabilized 30 mm cannon 2A42 and a 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun mounted to the left of the main armament.
The T-72M main battle tank is the export version of the Soviet-made T-72A. The tank is armed with one 125 mm (2A46) smoothbore gun fitted with a light-alloy thermal sleeve and a bore evacuator. The second armament of the T-72A includes one 7.62 mm caliber PKT machine gun mounted coaxially to the right of the main armament and has 250 rounds of ready-use ammunition and a new design of 12.7 mm caliber NSV machine gun mounted on the commander's cupola.
Slovak Army BVP-2 tracked armored IFV Infantry Fighting Vehicle (Picture source Army Recognition)