The Slovak Ministry of Defence (SVK MOD) updated the Cabinet on the intention to procure M4A1 assault rifles with accessories through the U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme. The Cabinet took note of the informative document on the planned procurement of 5,000 U.S.-made Colt M4A1 Carbines chambered in 5.56 x 45 NATO. For Slovakia, the procurement of the Colt M4A1 Carbines through the U.S. FMF programme is very advantageous. the total price for 5,000 Colt M4A1 Carbines, including accessories, spare parts and technical support, is US$17,372,291 in U.S. foreign military financing (FMF) assistance. After receiving the weapons, the MOD will transfer 20% VAT into the State’s treasury bank account.
This transaction will have no impact on the public budget as the funds have been budgeted for MOD expenditure
The MOD has plans to procure assault rifles for the Slovak Armed Forces in two ways. In addition to getting 5,000 Colt M4A1 Carbines through the U.S. FMF programme, the MOD plans to put the additional standard combat rifles out to international competition. Needless to say, the M4A1 rifles have in the past been procured for the Slovak Special Operations Forces (SOF), using the FMF process. Fully consistent with the Soldier’s Personal Weapon & Equipment Development Concept and modernisation requirements, the new assault rifles are compatible with the standard combat rifles and ammunition used by several armed forces in NATO member states. Deliveries of the assault rifles via the FMF programme are scheduled for 2025.
In a statement, Defence Minister Martin Sklenár said: “Our Armed Forces have technically outdated standard service rifles in their arsenal. The rifles no longer meet the conditions for today?s conduct of combat operations. Although some of the forces do have more modern rifles, they have not been procured in sufficient numbers to enable the Slovak Armed Forces to undertake all tasks. If we fail to deal with this challenge soon enough, this war-fighting capability of our Armed Forces will be lost. Thanks to our very good cooperation with the U.S., clear position on Ukraine, and decisive and continued support to our neighbour, we will get the rifles, more or less, for free.”
The M4A1 carbine is a fully automatic variant of the basic M4 carbine intended for special operations use. The M4A1 was introduced in May 1991 and was in service in 1994. The M4A1 was the first M4 model with the removable carry handle. The M4A1 has a “S-1-F” (safe/semi-automatic/fully automatic) trigger group, while the M4 has a “S-1-3” (safe/semi-automatic/3-round burst) trigger group. The M4A1 is used by almost all U.S special operation units including, but not limited to, Marine Force Recon, Army Rangers, Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Air Force Pararescue and Air Force Combat Control Teams. It has a maximum effective range of 500 to 600 meters (550–660 yd). The fully automatic trigger gives a more consistent trigger pull, which leads to better accuracy.