The Slovak government on 23 May approved a Ministry of Defence (MoD) request for a EUR175 million (USD206 million) procurement of 25 ShKH Zuzana 2 155 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) for the Slovak armed forces.
The MoD will award the contract to Slovak defence company Konstrukta-Defence, with initial deliveries scheduled to commence in 2018 and to be completed in 2022.
The contract includes crew training, spare parts and ammunition, and also calls for the maximum involvement of Slovakia's domestic defence industry.
“Based on evaluations made by the NATO planning team, we are forming a heavy mechanised brigade based on those recommendations and [the procurement of new SPHs] will ensure the necessary firepower for the brigade,” Slovak Defence Minister Peter Gajdos informed media on 23 May following the government procurement decision.
The Slovak armed forces currently field 16 ShKH Zuzana 155 mm SPHs with a 45 calibre-length barrel.
Unlike its predecessor, the ShKH Zuzana 2 155 mm SPH fields a 52 calibre-length barrel, has a full 360-degree turret traverse, a new armoured cab, and a reduced crew of three made possible by greater automation.
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