P. Gajdoš: Up to 800 new jobs will be created as 8x8 IFV and Zuzana 2 SpGH programmes transition into production

Up to 800 new jobs will be created in Slovakia as the 8x8 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) and Zuzana 2 Self-propelled Gun Howitzer (SpGH) programmes transition into production. This was announced today (6 September 2018) by Minister of Defence Peter Gajdoš at a press conference held at DMD GROUP, a state-run joint stock company based in Dubnica nad Váhom.
 
On the job creation strategy in the defence sector, Minister of Defence Peter Gajdoš said: “Thanks to the decision to go down the path of supporting the domestic defence industry and putting Slovak products into service with the SVK Armed Forces, we will considerably revive the defence industry in the Považie region. As a result, an estimated 150-300 jobs will be created in the DMD GROUP companies, and so will a further 300-500 jobs in the supply chain of subcontractors and collaborative firms.” He went on to say that this will take place in stages in dependence on contracted work, agreed timeline, and production volume. “In our efforts, we are absolutely committed to delivering on yet another premise spelt out in the Slovak Government Manifesto and the Slovak National Party Manifesto, one which gives strong support to the development of the domestic defence industry,” he emphasised.
 
General Secretary of the Service Office Ján Hoľko today underlined that the past assertions that the State is incapable of managing the defence industry efficiently and that all manufacturing capacities should be leased to the private sector have not turned out to be true. “This is evidenced by the fact that today we have a unique Slovak product which is the outcome of R&D conducted by our companies. And the prototype will cost less than previously expected,” he said, adding that, aside from the DMD GROUP companies, Aircraft Repair Company (LOTN) Trenčín, too, is doing well in the Trenčín region, sustaining almost 350 jobs. “On average, the salaries there have gone up 21% over the recent period,” he said.
 
According to Director General of DMD GROUP, a. s. Vladimír Ďuriš, thanks to the projects now underway for the SVK Armed Forces, the potential that was dormant for years in the region, the heart of Slovakiaʼs defence industry in the past, has been awakened and is being developed. “It is largely thanks to the efforts of the MOD people and leaders that we are now in a situation where we can take a breath and propose solutions not only for the SVK Armed Forces but also for foreign partners,” he said. On the increase in employment levels, he said that the companies under DMD GROUP cooperate with the Alexander Dubček University of Trenčín and other schools as part of dual education.
 
The procurement of 8x8 IFVs and Zuzana 2 SpGHs for the needs of the SVK Armed Forces proceeds according to the 2030 Long-Term Defence Development Plan. The production costs of 155mm Zuzana 2 SpGHs are estimated at €175 million, VAT included. When it comes to the procurement of 8x8 IFVs, the costs should not exceed €417 million, whereas the price of a vehicle is estimated at up to €4 million, VAT included.

Author: MO SR - KOd, Photo: MO SR - Ivan Kelement - Date: 06.09.2018
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