Slovakia is replacing Soviet-era vehicles by buying 192 Oshkosh JLTVs

The war in Ukraine opened up the European market for defense companies, especially those from the US. Slovakia, which has donated to Ukraine its MiG-29 fighter jets as well as various military equipment and vehicles since the beginning of the war, decided to replace what was left on Slovak territory.

Slovakia is replacing Soviet-era vehicles by buying 192 Oshkosh JLTVs
Photo credit: Oshkosh

192 Oshkosh-built M1278A1/A2 Heavy Gun Carrier Joint Light Tactical Vehicles [JLTVs] were ordered by Bratislava. 250 million USD will cost to acquire these vehicles along with their equipment and armament. This includes remotely controlled weapon stations, machine guns, detectors, sensors, and much more, including supply and maintenance of spare parts.

The proposed sale has already been submitted and approved by the US Congress, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA] informed. According to the agency, the acquisition of the land platforms will allow the Slovaks to meet current and future threats.

Oshkosh M1278A1/A2

The new JLTVs will give the Slovak Army greater mobility. These vehicles are easily transportable. They can be airlifted from several aerial platforms. Among them are CH-47 and CH-53 helicopters’ C-130, C-5, C-17, and A400 Cargo fixed-wing aircraft.

Slovakia is replacing Soviet-era vehicles by buying 192 Oshkosh JLTVs
Photo credit: Oshkosh

The M1278A1/A2 offers quality protection for military personnel carried through patented blast-resistant seats, as well as a scalable crew protection system. The vehicle also has an automatic fire suppression system.

The Oshkosh JLTV has an open architecture for future upgrades. This allows them to be done easily and much cheaper. The vehicle is fully equipped with various fire control systems as well as electro-optical field awareness systems.

What distinguishes the Oshkosh product is the independent suspension. It is an intelligent TAK-4iTM system, which is patented precisely by Oshkosh. The system allows the suspension of the vehicle to be configured depending on the terrain on which it will be used. It is this system that has a special mode that configures the suspension when the vehicle needs to be transported by air.

According to the specifications, the Oshkosh M1278A1/A2 has a 20 in. [50.8 cm] wheel travel and 70% faster off-road performance.

Soviet-era vehicles

Currently, what remains of the Slovak Army’s inventory are mostly Soviet-era vehicles. They are either originally Soviet-made or manufactured under patent in former Czechoslovakia.

However, Slovakia has some more advanced vehicles in the same category as Oshkosh M1278A1/A2. For example, Bratislava is known to operate an unknown number of Humvees, mostly acquired after joint operations with the US military in Afghanistan.

An unknown number of International MaxxPro MRAPs are also in use by Slovakia’s military, but they were donated by Washington after several operations in Afghanistan. 27 American-made Polaris RZR all-terrain vehicles are also used by Slovakia’s ground forces.

US M1224 MaxxPro MRAP survived a direct hit by a Russian tank M1224 MaxxPro MRAP
Photo credit: Grippenn

The US-Slovak ties recalls that the relations between Slovakia and the USA are very good. Immediately after the start of the war in Ukraine, Slovakia was one of the first countries to offer to supply Kyiv with its S-300 air defense system. The US, for its part, took this Slovakian proposal as a good sign and later deployed its Patriot battery in Slovakia, which took over the functions of the donated Soviet system.

Slovakia is also awaiting the delivery of Block 70/72 F-16 fighters. However, these deliveries will be delayed, as has become clear in recent weeks. Apart from Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Taiwan suffered from this delay.


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