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New AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters For Slovakia

AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter [SVK MoD press release image]

Slovakia receives offer of 12 new AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters from the USA in part compensation for its MiG-29 Fulcrum transfer to Ukraine.

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Press Release, Bratislava, 22 March 2023: Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď confirmed that one part of the announced compensation for transferring to Ukraine of thirteen retired Slovak Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrums, which are unusable in Slovakia, and some of the ‘Kub’ (SA-6 ‘Gainful’) air defence system’s assets is related to the US offer to Slovakia of 12 new AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters along with associated accessories, the training of pilots and technicians, and sophisticated AGM-114 Hellfire II air-to-surface missiles.

Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď said: “This offer is hugely advantageous and will significantly increase Slovakia’s defence potential. Currently, we have no combat helicopters, so it would be a completely new combat capability.”

The value of this package is estimated at more than $1bn. Of this, some $660m will be provided to Slovakia from the US Department of Defense’s Foreign Military Financing (FMF) Programme. Under the deal, Slovakia will pay $340m from the Defence budget over the next 3-4 years.

The head of the SVK MoD repeatedly said that a number of countries were interested in the said equipment, whereas he took the US offer to Slovakia very positively. He noted that the move could also be perceived as indirect compensation from the US Government for the announced delay in the delivery of the F-16 Fighting Falcons Slovakia ordered for the Slovak Air Force.

Both sides are ready to sign a US-SVK intergovernmental agreement regarding the offer once Slovakia has handed its MiG-29 Fulcrum fleet and some of its ‘Kub’ (SA-6 ‘Gainful’) air defence system’s assets over to Ukraine.

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