WARSAW, Poland — 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 is 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 or T-55 tanks come to our territory, and our military repair plants would repair them and send them back to Ukraine,” Naď said, as reported by local news agency SITA.
Mounted on an eight-wheel drive chassis, Zuzana is an upgraded variant of the Dana self-propelled howitzer developed in the 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 are on the table.
Slovakia’s armed forces acquired 16 Zuzana 2000 howitzers between 1998 and 2000, and in 2018, the country’s Ministry of Defence ordered 25 units of Zuzana 2 from Slovak state-run defense company KONŠTRUKTA-Defence.
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 battery of the Patriot air defense system 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.”
The fourth battery is to compliment the three batteries of the air defense system that were brought to Slovakia by its allies Germany and The Netherlands last month.
Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.