The Konstrukta Defence prototype BOV 8x8 wheeled armoured vehicle made its public debut on 6 December with the indigenously designed EVPU Turra unmanned turret equipped with a Russian 2A42 30 mm automatic cannon.
The Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) selected Finland’s Patria in early November without a tender to supply an AMV XP (extended payload) chassis to Nova Dubnica-based Konstrukta Defence, the prime contractor and overall systems integrator. The EUR1.2 billion (USD1.4 billion) contract foresees supplying Slovak ground forces with 81 platforms, including infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), armoured command control, communications, engineering, armoured recovery vehicle, and armoured ambulance variants.
Slovak defence and security experts as well as Western diplomatic and industry sources are sceptical about the BOV 8x8. “Except for the Slovak Turra turret, we can only speak of cosmetic differences compared to the Patria AMV XP,” Jaroslav Nad, director of the Slovak Security Policy Institute, told media on 7 December.
“The Turra unmanned turret relies on rolled steel of outdated design due to its weight, which places great strain on electromechanical components, and cannot be upgraded with modern composite ballistic protection. Furthermore, the AMV XP chassis has been dumbed down to meet Slovak MoD weight and cost specifications,” a Western diplomat present at the unveiling told Jane’s .
Konstrukta Defence referred Jane’s to EVPU, which did not provide comment before the publication deadline.
Patria would not comment about other systems integrated into an already developed vehicle with suppliers and systems selected by the Slovak and Finnish governments.
The Finnish company does however point out that it is the first amphibious XP vehicle developed.
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