Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Germany has paid particular attention to Slovakia, intending to facilitate the transfer to the Ukrainian army of its military equipment inherited from the Soviet period, notably via the Ringtausch initiative.
Thus, within the framework of NATO, the Bundeswehr [German armed forces] now participates in Slovak air defense with Patriot batteries, replacing the S-300 system promised by Bratislava to Kyiv.
Then, having agreed to part with 30 BVP-1 armored vehicles, the Slovak army will receive 15 Leopard 2A4 tanks.
The first was delivered on December 19, thanks to a visit by Christine Lambrecht to the German troops deployed in Slovakia.
On this occasion, Berlin and Bratislava announced their intention to strengthen their cooperation to help Ukraine.
Thus, and as reported in November by KNDS, the Franco-German joint venture formed by Nexter and Krauss-Mafffei Wegmann, a maintenance center, will be set up in Ukraine to repair equipment delivered to Ukraine.
It will focus on the PzH2000 howitzers, the Gepard anti-aircraft armored vehicles, the MARS II multiple rocket launchers sold by Germany, and the 18 CAESAr supplied by France.
“Arms deliveries alone are not enough to support Ukraine against Russia. This means that the delivered weapon systems must also be repaired,” Ms. Lambrecht underlined. “With this maintenance center in Slovakia, a good solution was quickly found.
This means that repairs can be carried out much faster,” she added. Only its location being known [it will be located in Michalovce], it must be protected.
Also, Ms. Lambrecht and her Slovak counterpart, Jaroslav Nad, discussed the deployment of the anti-aircraft system MANTIS [Modular, automatic, and network-compatible targeting and interception system], produced by Rheinmetall Air Defence.
A priori, several copies of this C-RAM type system [counter-rockets, artillery, and mortar] could be delivered to the Slovak forces. At least, that’s what Mr. Nad suggests. “This is a new air defense system that will protect specific locations ‘in eastern Slovakia,'” he said.
A MANTIS system consists of six 35 mm automatic cannons capable of firing 1000 rounds per minute, a ground control unit, and sensors. Its range is about 3 km. The Luftwaffe has two units, delivered in 2011 for just over 110 million euros.