Shortly after Slovakia supplied an S-300 air defense system to Ukraine to support its fight against Russia’s invasion, Slovak Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď has announced his country was in talks with the Ukrainian government over a potential sale of Zuzana 155 mm self-propelled howitzers.
“We are also discussing the possibility of having damaged Ukrainian combat vehicles and T-72 tanks come to our territory. Our military repair plants would repair them and send them back to Ukraine,” Naď said, SITA reported by a local news agency.
Mounted on an eight-wheel drive chassis, Zuzana is an upgraded variant of the Dana self-propelled howitzer developed in former Czechoslovakia. Zuzana is currently operated by the armed forces of Slovakia and Cyprus.
Naď said Bratislava and Kyiv were discussing whether the sale would involve the older Zuzana 2000 variant or, the newer Zuzana 2 version. He did not disclose how many howitzers were on the table.
Slovakia will consider providing Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine if alternative protection of its own air space can be arranged, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said on Monday.
Ukraine’s neighbour Slovakia, a NATO member, operates 12 MiG-29 planes. Slovakia has already given Ukraine its Soviet-designed S-300 air defence system.
The potential sale marks another example of the intensifying military cooperation between the two neighbors. Slovakia recently transferred its Soviet-era S-300 system to Ukraine after the United States agreed to deploy an additional Patriot air defense system battery to protect the Slovak skies.
“One battery of the Patriot system is better than one battery of the S-300 system, which we donated to Ukraine to protect innocent people from Putin’s aggression,” Naď said in an April 10 Facebook post. “We will have four such batteries.”
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