Slovak Ground Forces gunners took over eight new ZUZANA 2 155mm Self-propelled Gun Howitzers (SpGH) at an official handover ceremony held at 11 Mechanised Battalion Michalovce. A total of 25 ZUZANA 2 155mm Self-propelled Gun Howitzers along with accessories, a simulator, sets of spare parts and munitions will be delivered to the SVK Army under the contract. They are destined for the Self-propelled Artillery Battalion Michalovce to boost the Indirect Fire Support (IFS) capabilities of the Slovak Ground Forces’s manoeuvre forces.
Commander of the Strategic Crisis Management Centre (SVK Defence Staff) Brig Tibor KrÃ¡lik highlighted the vital role of artillery for the Slovak Ground Forces, saying: “The other conflicts in the near and distant geopolitical regions provide the justification for the need of classic gunnery systems by artillery units. Their modern self-propelled variants, equipped with all necessary support systems, are the condition for the Army’s successful operations on the contemporary battlefield.”
Defence Minister Jaroslav NaÄ said: “The availability of modern and reliable equipment for use by armed forces is an inevitable condition for our military to perform to the highest standards, on which hinges the defence and security of our country and the collective defence of the wider Allied community in the event of potential operational deployments. Therefore, the programme delivery of the self-propelled gun howitzers of Slovak provenance is another plus in stabilising the state of equipment in service with the Slovak Armed Forces and security as such.”
The new howitzer platforms will form part of the SVK Army’s Integrated Artillery Fire System and will be employed in a wide spectrum of operations in support of mechanised and motorised battalions at home and on NATO and EU operations. Alongside the new ZUZANA 2 155mm Self-propelled Gun Howitzers, the SVK Army is also equipped with 16 pieces of the Series 2000 ZUZANA Self-propelled Gun Howitzer in service with the Self-propelled Artillery Battalion Michalovce. Some of them are currently deployed with the NATO eFP BG Latvia, while others are used for training at home.
Zuzana 2 155 mm Self-propelled Gun Howitzer is a Slovak artillery system with a 45-caliber gun and automatic loader for loading of both projectile and charge. It is an evolution of the 152mm SpGH DANA self-propelled howitzer. This is the latest development of the Zuzana. This model is fitted with a 155/52 ordnance and has other improvements such as a reworked turret and a different engine: the Tatra T3B-928.70 of 330 kW. Updated version with a new 52-calibre gun, full 360-degree turret traverse, a new armored cab and further reduced crew of 3 enabled by automation.
It has passed Slovak Army trials in December 2009. The new version is claimed to possess Multiple Rounds Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) capability. The system features long range, high accuracy and rate of fire, prompt preparation for firing and high level of mobility ensured by a modified TATRA 8Ã—8 chassis. Design of the gun enables to use any NATO standard 155mm ammunition available on the market. One of the unique features of ZUZANA 2 is that the gun is mounted externally in between two totally separated compartments of the turret.