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The US State Department has approved a potential Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Slovakia of M1278A1 Heavy Gun Carrier variants of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 9 May 2023.

The sale, which is valued at an estimated USD 250 M (EUR 230.27), has now been passed to the US Congress for final approval. Interim Slovakian Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad announced in March 2023 that Bratislava intended to buy more than 180 JLTVs using a EUR 200 million grant from the United States.

According to the DSCA, Slovakia has requested to buy 192 M1278A1/A2 Heavy Gun Carrier JLTVs as well as M153 Common Remote Weapons Stations (CROWS) with display and control panels; M2 Quick-Change Barrel .50 cal machine guns; MK19 40 mm grenade launchers; M2A1 machine guns; M4A1 Joint Chemical Agent Detectors; AN/VAS-5B(V)2 Driver’s Vision Enhancers; M205 gun mounts; MK93 weapon mounts; M1114 turret rings and hatches; various spares, associated tools and accessories; and training, technical, logistical and programme support.

Slovakia has requested 192 M1278A1/A2 Heavy Gun Carrier JLTVs as well as M153 Common Remote Weapons Stations. (Photo: Oshkosh)

In its announcement the DSCA said the proposed sale “will improve Slovakia’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing the Slovak Land Forces with vehicles to support increased mobility and enhanced protection for ground units”.

It added that the JLTV procurement “would also enable divestiture of Russian-produced equipment, as JLTVs would replace Soviet-era personnel carriers. Procurement of the JLTV would represent a major milestone in Slovakia’s goal of developing a capable, 21st century military which can meet its national defense needs and effectively contribute to NATO operations.”

The principal contractor for the sale will be Oshkosh Defense.

The JLTV has a growing number of users; it is already operated by the armed forces of Montenegro, Slovenia and Lithuania, while Belgium, Poland and Romania also have JLTV deliveries pending.

Peter Felstead