The 10th edition of the IDEB Defence & Security exhibition, held in Bratislava, Slovakia from October 3 to 5, showcased the new developments in the defense industry. Among the international defense companies in attendance, Konstrukta Defence, the Slovak artillery specialist, took the spotlight with its groundbreaking BIA 6×6 155mm self-propelled howitzer. This autonomous artillery system garnered significant attention and was honored with the prestigious “Grand Prix IDEB Defence & Security” award. The BIA 6×6, which made its debut earlier this year at the DSEI exhibition in London, is not only a testament to Slovak innovation but also a remarkable advancement in the world of self-propelled howitzers. Konstrukta Defence’s display at IDEB also featured other renowned self-propelled howitzers, including the Zuzana 2 and EVA, but the BIA 6×6 truly stole the show.
The BIA 6×6 is a new autonomous artillery system equipped with automatic ammunition loading, enabling precision firing through both direct and indirect aiming methods. Its design is rooted in a battle-proven 155mm 52-caliber gun system, incorporating a wide range of verified assemblies and design solutions. What sets the BIA apart is its unique TATRA chassis, designed to provide exceptional cross-country capabilities and agile mobility, allowing for rapid repositioning on the battlefield. This recognition from IDEB exhibition organizers signifies the BIA’s exceptional performance and the potential it holds in modern warfare. The system incorporates a range of innovative features that enhance its combat capabilities.
Slovakia’s KONŠTRUKTA Defence, the arms designer and manufacturer behind the BIA 6×6, unveiled the prototype of the SpGH BIA 155mm self-propelled howitzer at the DSEI exhibition in London, where it showcased its fully functional weapon system. The SpGH BIA has already completed its first firings, and its journey continued with a presentation at IDEB 2023 in Bratislava. In the upcoming months, further firing trials are scheduled to prepare the SpGH BIA for military tests in a potential customer’s country in 2024. KONŠTRUKTA Defence is keen on introducing the SpGH BIA into the armament inventory of the Slovak Armed Forces. The SpGH BIA project builds upon the success of the SpGH ZUZANA and 1SpGH EVA product development line. It was initiated in 2021 based on the requirements of business partners, incorporating knowledge and experience gained from the deployment of ZUZANA in Ukraine and international training related to NATO troop presence in Latvia.
Compared to the SpGH ZUZANA 2, the BIA is lighter, more mobile, while maintaining the same firepower. In comparison to the 155mm SpGH EVA, the BIA carries a larger supply of ammunition, offers higher crew protection, and automates combat operations. The SpGH BIA currently utilizes the latest chassis series from the original supplier of ZUZANA 2 howitzers. However, in response to potential users’ demands, KONŠTRUKTA-Defence is working on adapting the 155mm weapon system to chassis from other manufacturers, with one of them being a purely Slovak company. While KONŠTRUKTA-Defence is committed to involving as many Slovak manufacturers as possible in the BIA project to support the Slovak defense industry, some components will still need to be sourced outside the country due to trade secrets. This project underscores Slovakia’s dedication to advancing its defense capabilities and promoting national innovation in the global defense industry. The BIA 6×6 has undoubtedly set a high standard for future advancements in autonomous artillery systems.