MOD has no secrets about the procurement of 4x4 and 8x8 vehicles

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The SVK Government, who is responsible for defence planning in conformity with valid legislation, has made no final decision on the procurement of 4x4 and 8x8 vehicle platforms. Admittedly, the MOD has submitted a document detailing a potential way of procuring them for discussion in interdepartmental consultations in a restricted regime. However, this is only a proposal for a potential solution in line with the Government's valid commitment. Once comments have been worked into the document and approved by the SVK Security Council and Government, the final solution will be presented to the public. At this moment it would be premature to do so, given the fact that only the Government can decide on the final solution. Changes may still arise out of the ongoing interdepartmental consultations.

The SVK MOD recently presented to the public the Defence and Military Strategies of the Slovak Republic and the Long-Term Defence Development Plan with Emphasis on Building and Developing the SVK Armed Forces with an Outlook to 2030, where the MOD clearly set out the priorities for the upcoming period. This sort of plan had been non-existent in Slovakia for almost 25 years. The document has been available to the public and this principle has been observed ever since work started on the document. Moreover, at a recent press conference all questions were answered and ambiguities cleared. It was explained that the plan covers investments in military assets and that some information is subject to classification. Despite this, as a reaction to the statements by some politicians, some media outlets published information that the investments being made under the Long-Term Defence Development Plan are non-transparent and that the MOD keeps the processes secret, citing the case of the 4x4 and 8x8 vehicles procurement as an example.
 
In light of the Long-Term Defence Development Plan, we underscore that the project is considered to be a priority and of strategic importance for the generation of SVK Land Forces capabilities in delivery of national security and defence tasks. “We approached the solutions to the said project in a complex manner, whilst taking account of all factors that had an impact on the adoption of a binding decision. These mainly included qualitative, military specialist, economic and industrial considerations, ”stressed Ján Hoľko, General Secretary of the Service Office (MOD) / Chairman of the Commission and Coordinator for Development and Assessment of Strategic Documents.
 
As part of the project, SVK MOD and Armed Forces specialists evaluated a number of 4x4 and 8x8 combat vehicles, with a particular focus on their military, technical and economic parameters. As part of specialist consultations, working meetings with representatives of the manufacturers were held to analyse and to assess the data. As a result, for example, it has turned out that the financial costs of the 8x8 vehicles procurement project are realistic and amount to some €417 million, including VAT, for a fleet of 81 vehicles, which is fully in conformity with a document approved by the SVK Government in May 2017.
 
The selection of the procedure for implementing the procurement and delivery of the 4x4 and 8x8 vehicles was framed by the defence budget estimates. And it contains an efficient and economical rearmament process, with detailed descriptions and timelines of procurement plans and deliveries.
 
The MOD clearly declares that the procurement procedures proposed are transparent and comply with the Slovak Republic's valid legislative framework and the EU's rules for acquisition of defence products and services, which clearly set out the basic forms and conditions for bidding procedures. In essence, defence contracts in the field of defence and security substantially differ from those in the civilian sector. The procedures for award of contracts in the field of defence and security are regulated by Act No. 343/2015 Coll., whereas Section 5 thereof is directly determined by Directive 2009/81/ES. This directive honours the fact that, in supporting the gradual formation of the European market in defence systems, national security remains the exclusive responsibility of each and every EU Member State. In this respect, procurement of military equipment is a specific process, because the required technical parameters/utility value must be defined by experts of the SVK Armed Forces. While observing the procurement regulations, also analysed were the options that are available as part of the R&D cooperation programme of EU Member States.
 
The proposed procedure for the combat vehicles' procurement contains the principle of Comprehensive Solution, which fully satisfies the operational and technical requirements of the SVK Armed Forces, and the principle of Value for Money, to make sure that the tax payers' money is spent with maximum efficiency.

Author: MO SR - KOd, Photo: MO SR - ilustračné - Date: 22.10.2017
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