During their meeting at the SVK Ministry of Defence (MOD) today, the Slovak National Director for Defence Capabilities, Dalibor Pavolka, and his German counterpart, Thomas Frankenberger, have signed a gift agreement under which the Federal Republic of Germany will donate two MANTIS very short range air defence (VSHORAD) systems to Slovakia to bolster the country’s air defences on its eastern border with Ukraine, which is otherwise protected by national and Allied GBAD capabilities. The first of the two systems will be supplied to Slovakia within a matter of weeks, with the exact delivery date still to be confirmed by the German side.
Defence Minister Martin Sklenár said: “The gifting of the MANTIS systems to the Slovak Armed Forces comes as an outcome of Allies’ positive reflection on our responsible partnership and long-term tireless engagement to the benefit of national and collective security.”
National Director for Defence Capabilities Dalibor Pavolka said: “the MANTIS air defence systems will give a boost to SVK GBAD’s firepower and capability to defend our defence infrastructure facilities against airborne threats.”
Slovakia will get the MANTIS systems for free and permanently, building on the correct SVK-DEU relationship, expert talks, and the Alliance’s common goal – to beef up NATO’s eastern defences, of which Slovakia forms part. Each of the two MANTIS systems consists of six automatic weapon stations (optionally available with up to eight guns), two sensor units, and a command post. The package from Germany also includes 3 MANTIS surveillance radars with a range of up to 100km and specialist training for SVK soldiers. Currently, 44 SVK servicemen and women are in Germany being trained on the MANTIS system by the Bundeswehr on Todendorf Military Training Area (MTA).
On completion of this training, the service personnel will deploy to eastern Slovakia to operate the MANTIS systems in defence of the state. The Modular, Automatic and Network Capable Targeting and Interception System (MANTIS) system is a stationary, fully automated weapon station designed to keep up round-the-clock air defence cover for military installations, detecting, tracking and destroying incoming cruise missiles, rockets, artillery and mortar shells, and drones. Germany originally developed MANTIS to protect the Bundeswehr’s forward-operating bases in Afghanistan.