SVK MOD stages Industry Day for soldiers to present 4x4 vehicles

Minister of Defence Peter Gajdoš today opened Industry Day 2017 at the Military Technical and Testing Institute (VTSÚ) Záhorie. This is the second year the event has taken place, with this yearʼs focus on presenting 4x4 light armoured vehicles. The MOD has the mandate from the SVK Government to go ahead with the procurement of 4x4 platforms. Today VTSÚ Záhorie also marked initial presentation of the outcome thus far of the Slovak-Finnish 8x8 IFV development.
 
In his remarks at the opening ceremony, Head of the SVK MOD emphasised: “We have prepared todayʼs event especially for soldiers, because they are the ones who will operate the new vehicles and guarantee the security of our country.” He pointed out that the SVK Parliamentary Committee members and media representatives, too, had been invited to come and see the presentation of Slovak and international partnersʼ security & defence industry products, as the MOD is committed to maintaining full transparency throughout the entire process.
 
As Minister Gajdoš further underscored, the aim of the MOD is to make sure that the Slovak defence industry will become involved in the modernisation of the SVK Armed Forces to the maximum extent possible. “In order to give Slovak companies as vast a space as possible and to revive the armaments manufacturing capability in Slovakia. If we ourselves do not support our domestic defence industry by putting its products into service with our Armed Forces, it will be all the harder for Slovak manufacturers to break into foreign markets,” he reminded.
 
The Chairman of the Commission and Coordinator for Drafting, Assessment and Implementation of MOD Strategic Documents/General Secretary of the MOD Service Office, Ján Hoľko highlighted the transparency of the entire vehicle procurement process. Speaking to the media in a joint press conference with the SVK Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence, and National Armaments Director, Ján Hoľko said: “Although there appear to be different objections, I want to underline the fact that this is a form of procurement which is in line with European and Slovak legislation alike.” He added that efforts have been underway to find a partner and a way to deliver 4x4 vehicles to the SVK Armed Forces, with emphasis on incorporating the countryʼs defence industry into the production of the vehicles to the maximum extent feasible.
 
Chief of the SVK General Staff Gen Milan Maxim emphasised that he considers Industry Day 2017 to be a significant step in the MODʼs efforts to modernise the Armed Forces. “This is an opportunity for us to test and to gain first-hand experience from driving different makes and types of vehicles we could be interested in, and of course we welcome this initiative. We have expert teams, represented by all Army branches, ready to test the vehicles independently and later they can make the best of this test drive experience when conducting military trials,” explained CHOD Gen Maxim.
 
According to the National Armaments Director Maj Gen Daniel Zmeko, today there have been over 19 pieces of heavy military equipment and other locally and foreign made vehicles at VTSÚ Záhorie. “For us, this is one of the essential steps in finalising the processes for the delivery of modernisation. The data will be utilised to carry out required analyses and we will be able to work with them in the long term,” he said. Today participants have had an opportunity to come up with a name for the new 8x8 platform as part of an after-event feedback questionnaire.
 
Almost 40 companies were represented at Industry Day 2017. In addition to a static display of defence products, the presentation included dynamic demonstrations of 4x4 combat/multi-purpose light armoured vehicles as well as manned live firing trials.

Author: MO SR - KOd, Photo: MO SR - Date: 06.12.2017
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