WARSAW, Poland — Slovakia will sign a government-to-government deal to purchase 152 CV90 MkIV tracked infantry fighting vehicles fitted with 35mm cannons by BAE Hägglunds, the country’s ministry of defense has announced.

Bratislava plans to acquire the vehicles from Sweden in an “effort to build [a] heavy mechanized brigade, and reinforce its defense and support local industry,” Slovakia’s Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď said in a tweet.

A feasibility study released by the ministry last May indicated that other competitors for the IFV contract included General Dynamics European Land Systems Santa Bárbara Sistemas with the ASCOD, Rheinmetall with its Lynx KF41, and Poland’s PGZ with the Borsuk.

The new vehicles are to enable Slovakia to replace its outdated Soviet-designed IFVs.

The ministry said in a statement it has budgeted some €1.7 billion ($1.8 billion), including value-added tax (VAT), to procure the vehicles and cover related infrastructure costs. Officials said the contract’s final value could be higher.

“The next step will be to draft an intergovernmental agreement between Slovakia and Sweden to finalize the G2G Agreement between the Government of the Slovak Republic and the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden,” the statement said. “In this context, the advantages of G2G arrangements include a substantially enhanced guarantee for the delivery of all vehicles under procurement and opportunities to strengthen military cooperation and deepen strategic partnerships.”

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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