Slovakia’s Defense Ministry announced today that it is procuring 13 American AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to replace 10 MiG 29 fighter jets going to Ukraine. The helicopters are largely financed by the USA.
The main purpose of this aid is to compensate for the delay in the delivery of the ordered F-16s, which were supposed to be the actual replacements for the MiG-29s. According to the current schedule, the American fighter jets are to be delivered in 2024. Until then, Slovakian airspace will be protected by the Czech Republic and Poland. From June 1, 2023, Hungary will also be added. Slovakia shares a nearly 100-kilometer border with Ukraine.
Slovakian Defense Minister Jaroslav Naď has now confirmed that he will accept the US offer to receive twelve new, modern AH-1Z Viper helicopters with accessories, pilot and technician training and AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles. “This offer is really very advantageous and will significantly increase the defense potential of the Slovak Republic,” said Naď. “Currently, we don’t have any gunships at all, so this would be an entirely new ability.”
The value of the total offer is a little over one billion US dollars, reports the Slovakian Ministry of Defense. Around $660 million of this would be provided by the American defense fund FMF. The Slovak Republic will then pay around $340 million over a period of three to four years as part of the planned defense budget. Naď emphasized that several countries are interested in the technology in question, which is why he considers the US decision to provide combat helicopters to Slovakia as extremely positive.
Source: Behoerden Spiegel