In a significant step towards bolstering the capabilities of the Slovak Armed Forces, the Slovak joint-stock company ZTS – ŠPECIÁL, a.s., part of the DMD group, has initiated the serial production of its latest innovation, the GTS-30/N 30mm automatic cannon. The GTS-30/N represents the culmination of an advanced development phase aimed at equipping the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic (OS SR) with a state-of-the-art 30mm automatic cannon. This weapon is tailored for the widely utilized 30mm NATO caliber ammunition, and its integration into the armed forces is aligned with the ongoing project to modernize Slovakia’s military capabilities, including the introduction of new 8×8 wheeled armored vehicles.
Recognizing the strategic importance of the 30mm caliber within NATO forces, Slovakia’s decision to incorporate an automatic cannon of this caliber and ammunition size was a logical progression. The domestic defense industry, led by ZTS – ŠPECIÁL under the state holding group DMD, has been entrusted with the task of fulfilling this requirement as part of the 8×8 wheeled armored vehicle project. The GTS-30/N automatic cannon will serve as the primary armament, integrated into the unmanned turret TURRA 30, designed by the Slovak manufacturer EVPÚ based in Novej Dubnice. The integration of the entire 8×8 project for the OS SR is overseen by KONŠTRUKTA – Defence, a subsidiary company, while the responsibility for manufacturing the ammunition for the cannon rests with ZVS holding, another subsidiary.
The unmanned turret TURRA 30 will be mounted on the four-axle Patria AMV XP 8×8 chassis. For precise control of speed and position in the horizontal and vertical planes for aiming weapons, the turret ensures their stabilization and control, as well as observation and aiming through the built-in observation and aiming device of the shooter or commander. The shooter’s observation and aiming device is mechanically coupled in elevation with the main cannon and ballistically protected at STANAG 4569 Level 1. The tower set is armed with a 30 mm automatic cannon type MK-44S Bushmaster II or GTS-30 / A and 3.5 generation anti-tank missile SPIKE LR / LR-2. Coupled with 7.62 mm machine gun type FN MAG or PKT and smoke grenade type GALIX or TU?A, it is highly effective to eliminate armoured vehicles or low-flying targets
In March 2022 the Slovakian Ministry of Defence selected Finland Patria AMV XP 8×8 as BOV 8×8 programme tender winner. 76 vehicles, new version of Patria AMV XP ordered and being delivered. Manufacturing of the first eight vehicles will take place in Finland, and Slovak workers will travel there to learn about the process. Production for the remaining vehicles will occur in Slovakia in partnership with contractor Konštrukta Defence and six main Slovak subcontractors. The first AMV XP 8×8 vehicles are to be delivered to Slovakia as early as September 2023, the release said, with the ministry expecting the vehicles made in Slovakia to roll out beginning in 2024 and ending in 2027.